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Daily Inspiration: Meet Victoria Creel

Today we’d like to introduce you to Victoria Creel. 

Hi Victoria, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
It has definitely not been a completely straight path to get here. I have experimented a lot with my different abilities and wound-up landing on being a photographer and artist together. I pivoted my business pretty recently from being only a photographer to also selling my art and handmade goods with my intentions focused more on my art than my handmade goods. I worked really hard on creating my own website and finally launched it this year. If you go onto my website (shopvictoriamichelle.com) you can find a slightly more in-depth story and more information about my art but I will give a simplified version here. Basically, I went through a really rough time in my late teenage years. I was dealing with some pretty big personal issues, anxiety, and depression, all while being dual-enrolled in college. I shortly after began having seizures I ended up in the hospital and got diagnosed with epilepsy and put on a medication that also made my struggle with depression worse. My mental health continued to decline to the point of me wanting to end everything. I was going to. I can’t really explain it but when I was going to try and end everything it felt like my hands were frozen. like something was holding them and wouldn’t let me follow through. I know that it was God. I made it to church the next Sunday and was deeply convicted. I cried and I asked God to help me because I couldn’t fight this alone and He did. I still struggle sometimes but He gave me a deeper Hope, peace, and inner strength than I had before. I have also more recently gotten into therapy and that has really helped me to regulate myself better and have better-coping skills. I was also diagnosed Autistic which explains a lot and has helped me learn that my needs are a bit different and that’s ok but more on that another day. Recently I have watched people I love struggle with deep depression and watched people lose their loved ones to this battle. I felt convicted to start sharing my story and be a voice of encouragement using my art. I realized that God didn’t allow me to go through that for nothing. There are so many people who need to hear that there is hope. I am living proof of that. Some Struggles may still be there but they don’t get the final say anymore and it doesn’t dictate my entire life. I hope to share that through my art and give people physical reminders to surround themselves with. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Definitely not! It I can be pretty overwhelming starting and running a business. especially figuring out all the legal stuff and getting everything set up properly. It has also taken a lot of time and work to really understand who I am and how to incorporate myself into my business without tying my worth or value into it too much. And then you also have COVID. I know my business is not the only business that has experienced very negative impacts due to COVID. Honestly, I would compare running a business to riding a rollercoaster. There are some pretty intense highs and lows but I have to do it. it’s something I have to go for at least once. I’m still learning a lot from it and I’m sure I will continue learning from it even if God directs me in a different direction at some point though I hope to be able to do this well into my life. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am both an Artist and a photographer. In photography, my specialty is family portraits. I love capturing all the little things that make families unique. Each family has their own unique interactions. I can give the same exact prompt to two families and the results can be so drastically different depending on how it’s interpreted and I love that. I really strive to create photos that feel like a really happy memory that you never want to forget. something like a dream. As for my art, I would say that my intense love for nature (especially entomology) and my love for antiques plays a huge part in setting my art apart. I would say my art also has a loosely “folk” and “fairytale” inspired feel to it too. I really try to make my art feel deeply true to me. That took a lot of work. I honestly only became settled on that recently. I experimented with really bright colors and 60s inspired color palettes for a while. I do love those things. I lived all of my childhood years in a 60s house, my senior photos were inspired by the 60s and 70s, I grew up searching for vintage things at garage sales, and window-shopping antique stores with my mother but what I realized recently was that I love color but I also get very overwhelmed by it easily. what I really love is colors that make me fell peaceful and calm. it turned out that it was really moody colors that that do that for me. So, I tend to stick to that color palette now. 

How do you think about luck?
If I am honest, I don’t believe in luck but I believe that God has given me what He has given me and I am responsible to use it to Glorify Him. I have been blessed with things that many people have not been blessed with like a stable home and family. My family has definitely experienced times where we didn’t have a lot but we always had a home and food. I know that a lot of people didn’t have that. I wouldn’t change the times when we didn’t have a lot either though. It really stretched my creativity as a kid. If you wanted something and couldn’t afford it you did your best to make it. I altered hand-me-downs, made play food for my dolls, explored nature far more than I would have if we had had lots of new toys and gadgets. I would have conversations about what bird call was coming from the tree whit adults and they would find it interesting that my siblings and I knew so much about animals. I just don’t think I would be the same today if I had of had a different life. I’m not sure if I would be as in tune with my creativity or have the drive to figure out everything it takes to own a business. 

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Victoria Creel

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