Aug 15, 2020
Fresno State alumna Bee Deegan in her home explaining her passion for art and science on Feb. 11, 2017. (Yezmene Fullilove / The Collegian)

Biology alumna turns pain into art

What do you get when you cross a biology major with chronic pain?

Bee Deegan said she uses her art as “therapy” to manage her depression and pain.

“I’ve dealt with chronic pain my whole life,” Deegan said. “Last year my jaw popped out of [it’s] socket, and I punched it back in place. My jaw is still misaligned.”

Deegan said this injury had the biggest impact on her art in the last year.

“I had depression before that, but that just totally sunk me down,” Deegan said. “Art has always been an escape for me. When I do it, I can kind of ignore the pain of everything.”

Deegan graduated from Fresno State in 2016 with a bachelor’s in biology and a minor in chemistry, and said that her art is naturally scientific.

“I try to approach things in a scientific and an artistic manner,” Deegan said. “Like looking through a microscope, you have to pay attention to detail, and I feel like I do that with my art.”

For Deegan, art is not just art. She said she talks about them like living things. 

“I feel like I always have a conversation with a piece. I start off with nothing in mind and let the art work me,” Deegan said. “I’m currently not talking to three of my paintings … they intimidate me.”

Deegan’s channels her pain and depression when creating art.

“I feel like I’m trapped in my body. It’s like a prison sometimes,” Deegan said. “So art has been really helpful.”


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