The Lady Behind the Feeling Bodies Drawings

The Lady Behind the Feeling Bodies Drawings


The lady behind the Feeling Bodies figures is a dynamic, lively and incredibly positive and generous woman from Durban, South Africa called Candice Smith. Our mutual passion for helping to bring greater Emotional Awareness to the world brought us together and led to a most unexpected partnership (read the story of how we first connected here).

History with Emotions

Candice says she was born a drama-queen and was hyper-active as a child (ADHD by today’s standards). She remembers being confronted with a deep and broad range of emotions as well as having numerous learning difficulties. She was "tossed about on the ocean of emotion" – spending a lot of energy trying to be happy and trying to keep others happy. When that failed she would explode and find herself feeling powerless and frustrated.

Years later she discovered Emotional Intelligence and started her journey to understanding what was going on within her and cultivating her emotional mastery - the ability to experience and use emotions without being ruled by them.

She says she is still learning every day and now also uses these hard earned skills to consult and teach these life-enhancing skills to children, parents and teachers. She's a big believer that we teach that which we need most need to learn.

Through her workshops, coaching and courses she takes people on an emotional journey to discovering what is within them. It was during these interactions with people that she felt she needed an additional tool to teach children about emotions.

Candice wanted to be able to provide her students and participants an accessible tool they could take home to continue mastering their emotional awareness. This tool needed to be local, affordable and had to truly represent feelings for what they were - sensations that we experience in our bodies.

Creating the Drawings

Candice was a trained teacher and more of a ballroom dancer than an artist herself, so she looked for someone to help her draw the "feelings". After several months of trying to find someone she found herself at a dead-end and decided to just give it a go herself.

So she did. For two to three hours a day, she sat down in the morning and just drew. She used what tools she had, doodling and drawing on the computer and little by little she brought the simple stick figures to life.

She researched each emotion to find out it's key characteristics and how each emotion manifested itself in the body, what it looked like. She observed people and also herself as she let herself feel all emotions that came her way. Then she translated what she found into one figure after another. 

These drawings were then finally produced as a pack of magnets (formerly called Sticky Feeling magnets). They found their way into classrooms and onto the fridges in peoples homes. 

Sharing the Drawings with the World 

The Sticky Feeling magnets spread in South Africa and orders were coming in from other parts of the world. Candice found herself racing around to ship them and so when I approached her to partner and spread them further around the world, this seemed like a great opportunity. So we put our heads, hearts and hands together to refine and create the new Feeling Bodies - a set of 20 figures that express emotions. We are so excited to see these spread around the world, into more families, classrooms, schools and practices every day.

You can discover more about the Feeling Bodies here.

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