Canvass – YHS Art Club
YCSD investigators spoke to former and current members of the Yoknapatawpha High School art club in an effort to find information on the potentially-missing 20-year-old Daniel Collier.
The YHS Art Club members were asked about the last interactions they may have had with Daniel Collier.
The interviews summarized are some of the most typical or relevant to the investigation and are representative of all the interviews conducted.
Age 18, YHS Senior
Brooklynn Danning has been in Yoknapatawpha High art club for all of her four years of high school. Brooklynn first met Daniel Collier in art club when she was a freshman and he was a senior.
Brooklynn reported that Daniel was very accepting of her, even though her other classmates, including some art club members, thought she was socially-awkward because of her love of roleplaying and cosplay.
She said Daniel never judged her for using time at art club to sketch out costume patterns for anime characters. In fact, she said, Daniel often would add color to her costume patterns and encouraged her to sew the costumes for use at future Comic Cons.
Brooklynn hasn't talked to Daniel since he graduated and is sad about it because she considers him a good friend.
Age 21, Ticket taker at Oxford Studio Cinema
Devin Hurst was part of the YHS art club in his junior and senior years and said he joined art club at the same time as Daniel Collier did. Devin had a passing interest in sculpture and throwing pots but knew there was no real future in it.
Devin reported being annoyed by Daniel's drive and determination to be a professional artist, which spread to the other art club members, who began to think they could make it big as well. Devin rejected these as delusions of artistic grandeur.
Devin said he didn't really hang around much with Daniel in high school but admitted friending him on Facebook after graduation to ramp up the number of friends he has on the social media site. According to Devin, Daniel has been bragging so much about his art success in New York City on Facebook last month that Devin had to block him.
Age 21, Tattoo artist at Flatline Tattoo and Art Gallery
Taylor Kitrell was part of the YHS art club for all of his time at Yoknapatawpha High except for his freshman year. He knew and liked Daniel Collier at the time, and the two collaborated as seniors on several projects that received school-wide acclaim.
Taylor reported that he often had problems with Brandon Ebner because, in Taylor's mind, he and Daniel had more to offer art-wise than Brandon; therefore, Brandon was envious of their successes. Taylor characterized Brandon as a total hanger-on.
Spurred on by his art teacher and art club advisor, Ms. McCarthy, Taylor toyed with going on to art school to become an illustrator. But Taylor was also an extrovert and wanted to be out in the world as soon as he could, so he got a job at Flatline Tattoo and Art Gallery in Oxford right out of high school.
After high school, Taylor and Daniel remained friends. Taylor even had helped get some of Daniel's post-YHS artwork on exhibit at Flatline as recently as the summer of 2020.
Then, in January, Taylor wished Daniel good luck online when he saw that Daniel had moved to New York City to paint. Daniel never responded. Given that Daniel was a private person throughout high school, Taylor thought nothing of it until another former YHS classmate and client, Axyl Floyd, came into Flatline.
Axyl told Taylor that Dan had stiffed him out of $500, so they'd have to wait to finish Axyl's tattoo work. Since the conversation with Floyd was only a week or so ago, Taylor hadn't had the time to connect with Daniel to find out what was going on.
Nicole and Lisa Vaughn
Ages 17, YHS Seniors
Identical twin sisters Nicole and Lisa Vaughn were freshman members of the Yoknapatawpha High art club when Daniel was a senior. They report that he was super cute and that both girls dreamed that he would ask one of them out, each sister hoping to one-up the other. Daniel never did ask either Vaughn girl out, which they chalked up to the age difference.
The Vaughns recounted that Daniel was much likelier to be kind to the freshman class than the other seniors they knew, who often harassed or ignored them. The Vaughns themselves said no one ever ignored them because of their good looks and artistic talents.
The Vaughns said that they hadn't actually talked to Daniel after his graduation from YHS, but know that classmate Lexi Arant went to a party on New Year's Eve where Daniel was present. According to the Vaughns, Arant's boyfriend is very angry with Daniel for some reason. The Vaughns said they don't know Arant's boyfriend's name, but they described him as old, possibly 21 or 22.