Deanna has always been artistic. She began creating hand-painted gift bags about ten years ago and now also paints ornaments. It takes Deanna two to three hours to paint a gift bag or ornament but the pleasure she takes in the process is what’s important to her. Her favorite subjects to paint are birds, cats, horses and portraits of people.
At seventeen, Deanna was diagnosed with schizophrenia causing her to hear voices. Her struggles with mental illness led her to strong Christianity that, she feels, protects her.
“Creating art is my favorite hobby. I feel like I’m more responsible by doing something during the day. I devote a minimum of two hours a day to work on my art to stay productive. I like doing things for others, like donating my income from selling gift bags to SMART, Inc. for others with disabilities.”