New Project | Emotions Visualized

Exploring facial expressions

Exploring facial expressions

I am excited to start work on a new project with a dear friend of mine who does amazing things working with young children living with disabilities. A pattern she noticed with her children was how difficult it was to explain simple emotions, something we generally don't think needs explanation. Some of her kids are hard of hearing and they are unable to hear the intonation of voice that helps describe an emotion. Mad and sad can sometimes look the same.

The problem we are trying to solve is how to show these children examples of emotions as well as provide explanations of why they would feel these emotions so that they can associate the correct emotion with the situation. 

To kick start the project, I started with some simple sketches to explore the topic.

 

A little gif showing a handful of different emotions to see the difference between each one.

A little gif showing a handful of different emotions to see the difference between each one.

"Because" is a consistent approach to explaining emotions. I am mad because... I am confused because... Describing a situation to the children helps them relate the emotion to themselves. Pictures are the best way to show these explanations and right now my friend only has access to children's picture books. We thought it would be helpful if she could have a resource to go to that specifically addresses these emotions and describes situations alongside. 

While exploring through the explanations of why certain emotions happen I thought it might be fun to animate them as gifs. Here are some rough idea story boards for explaining emotions.

I am confused because... the cat is wearing a dress.

I am confused because... the cat is wearing a dress.

I am happy because... my friend gave me a cupcake! I love cupcakes.

I am happy because... my friend gave me a cupcake! I love cupcakes.

I am mad because... my dad is making me eat broccoli.

I am mad because... my dad is making me eat broccoli.

I am sad because... a bee stung my finger and I just want a hug from my mom.

I am sad because... a bee stung my finger and I just want a hug from my mom.