This article was first published in the March/April edition of Vicksburg Living. For more information on Vicksburg Living or how to subscribe to Vicksburg’s premiere magazine, call 601-636-4545.
Growing up, art was just something Victoria Daily would do for fun.
Her mom, Miriam Daily, would lay out watercolors, Crayons and pencils on the kitchen table for Victoria and her brothers. Painting was encouraged in their household.
“My mom made it really fun. She would set out tins full of Crayons and Crayola watercolor palettes,” Victoria said. “We would paint the wildlife we saw in our backyard. My brothers and I still love to paint and draw the same subjects.”
Miriam is a very “gifted” artist according to Victoria, and she would give her children lessons for fun. Victoria’s two brothers, Sean and Trace, received the same artistic training as Victoria.
As she got older, others began to notice her talent, too. During her junior year at St. Aloysius High School, Victoria painted a picture of a small blue house visible from the school for her art class. The painting was then shared on Vicksburg Catholic School’s social media and caught the eye of local realtor Lindsey Gilliland.
Gilliland saw the painting and gave Victoria her first commission.
“Mrs. Lindsey hired me when I was 17 to paint pictures of houses that she sold. Luckily for me she sold a lot of houses, and I had plenty to paint,” Victoria said. “I am so thankful to her for creating that job for me.”
These house paintings were certainly noticed by friends of Gilliland’s clients, and Victoria’s client list soon began to grow.
What was once a hobby was now becoming a realistic career choice. As she planned to study at the University of Mississippi, she began looking into the university’s art program.
The university offers the Art Merit Scholarship for rising freshmen. The same paintings that got her started allowed her to receive the scholarship.
“I used pictures of the paintings that I made for Lindsey as my ‘portfolio’ for my scholarship interview. I do not think I would have gotten the scholarship if it weren’t for those paintings, and I do not know what I would be studying,” she said. “I will forever be grateful to Mrs. Lindsey.”
Victoria began studying art Ole Miss in the fall of 2017, and she has never looked back on her decision to do so.
“Before I came to college I had some natural artistic ability and I had limited knowledge of the large art world. I was mainly a self-taught watercolor artist,” Victoria said. “In art school here, they do not teach you how to paint, but they focus on pushing you to explore and develop your own painting skills. They help you begin forming a concept for your art. In other words, my professors help me figure out why I paint what I paint.”
Since her time at Ole Miss, Victoria has been asked to paint numerous murals around Oxford and has completed two. Her first mural was in a new restaurant called Mi & Tea. In the summer of 2020 she painted a mural on the outside of the Oxford Canteen building, and she has several lined up for the future.
As Victoria’s main focus in art is usually nature, she entered the meeting with the owners of Oxford Canteen with nature in mind. She noticed that the owner, Corbin Evans, had a tattoo of a honeycomb on his arm. They both agreed that painting yellow bees on the dark building would yield the best results and create a positive look for the restaurant.
Oxford Canteen happens to be located down the street from Victoria’s house. While she painted, her friends would set up lawn chairs to keep her company.
She plans to complete her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in May 2022.
“I like that saying about ‘If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.’ Currently, I am fortunate enough to have work in painting and mural commissions. I am planning to take both types of commissions when I graduate,” she said. “I am interested in getting my Masters of Fine Art after I finish my undergraduate.”