In the late seventies, musicians, Greg and Steve made the song, “The World is A Rainbow”. The song was intended to bring attention to the diversity in the world while amplifying acceptance for others. Candace Thompson was just a young girl at the song’s peak, but even as a child, she knew that there was beauty in the many ways others saw the world. To her, there was something magical about the human ability to produce visual representations of their imagination. As a self-taught artist, she inspires others daily to dream freely and let their art reflect their inner self, stories, and personal canvases. As a child, Candace would spend her free time creating sketches and coloring. Convinced she would grow up to be an architect, she spent much of her youth waiting for the day she would design buildings for a living. Those aspirations shifted after Candace graduated from college with her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and became a preschool teacher.
It was in teaching children that her passion was rerouted back to art. She would find herself mesmerized with the way art would provide enchantment for the kids. It unleashed something inside of her that could not be tamed. She knew she was called to not only create but teach others how to unshackle the artist within themselves. In November 2017, Candace launched Canvases with Candace. As the Chief Visionary Officer, she was determined to make her company one of the most loved mobile paint experiences in the Midlands. Committed to bringing creativity wherever the comfort was, the mobile service offered paint parties almost anywhere you could find people and a passion to learn.
Her first paint party was held in December of the same year and welcomed twelve participants. Since, she has served over five thousand people. Hence, Candace’s hand in unlocking artists both locally and internationally. In 2018, she began offering custom paintings with affirming quotes, releasing a new collection each quarter. She has since expanded her openings for commission and murals. In fall of 2018, Canvases with Candace partnered with other local businesses and creatives to host a 40-person outdoor paint party and celebration, ONEderland. The event increased the company’s visibility and caused a ripple in exposure for the business and the growth has not slowed down since. Voted Best Wine and Paint Studio of Columbia by the Free Times, Canvases with Candace has continued to make changes to bring a one-of-a-kind experience to artists- both budding and seasoned. They offer in person and virtual DIY experiences, private events, Lead with Artist (live Facebook lessons), the CWC Kids Club, and many more mobile offerings! In November of 2021, Canvases with Candace opened the doors to the CWC Studio-the event marks the four-year anniversary of her launch.
When you ask Candace why she is so devoted to the business, her answer is simple- “Painting by yourself is creativity. Painting with others is magic. One is meant to share with the world, the other meant to move it.” -Candace T.
Christina: What is your SwagHer? What makes Candace, Candace?
Candace: I’m an artist and serious about my art! I love that line from Erykah Badu because, just like her, I, too, am an artist who is serious about making sure that we not only pour paint but we pour into our community through the experiences we provide. I realized that you don’t have to be perfect at drawing to be an artist. I’m forever evolving through art in words and with paint.
Christina: You are a self-taught artist. At what age did you begin to realize that you liked drawing, and at what age did you realize that you were really good at it?
Candace: I don’t remember, but I have pictures of me with a pencil and paper. I’ve always been into doodling. In elementary school, I loved architecture with the angles and structures of buildings. I don’t think I’m good at drawing, even at 35. I’m still learning and growing.
Christina: Why did you become a preschool teacher instead of your original dream of being an architect?
Candace: Teaching preschool was being able to have an impact on kids before the world because I have a very youthful personality. I find the fun and interesting part of things that most adults don’t. Preschool gave me the opportunity to play all day with dope little people.
Christina: Tell us about Canvases with Candace. Where can readers go to learn more?
Candace: I believe CWC is designed to help people unlock parts of themselves they didn’t know existed. Art doesn’t have rules, and it’s a different level of freedom. In art, there are no responsibilities or constraints. When you do it as an experience like with us, you break out the box. Readers can find events, merchandise, and more on our website, www.canvaseswithcandace.com.
Christina: What tips would you give others who are on the less creative side but want to pick up drawing/painting?
Candace: Drawing and painting is not about starting off creative; it’s about growing into creativity. For me, it’s starting off with a line and creating something from that. If you feel less creative, now is a time to tap into your vision versus what you can see with your natural eyes.
Christina: You go by this saying: “Painting by yourself is creativity. Painting with others is magic. One is meant to share with the world; the other meant to move it.” Can you tell us why this is such an important saying for you?
Candace: Our experiences are moved by interactions with others. When you are alone, you’re in your quiet time, and it’s just you. Our brushes are our friends, and painting is an experience. When you are painting with others, like at parties with us, you can be fueled by people around you. That’s where the magic happens. Art is everywhere otherwise, the world is blah. It’s in everything we touch, hear, in words, and how we see the world, art exists.
Christina: Do you have any upcoming events or projects that you would like our readers to know about?
Candace: We are excited about our Grand Opening on Nov 20, 2021. We are also launching our CWC Kids Club on Saturday mornings, so check our Facebook page. We’ll be hosting Game Nights and Interactive Nights that allow our community to come together and foster community. CWC will be having a vision board party before the New Year as well.
Christina: Is there anything else you would like to share?
Candace: We are dope, and we are about that art life! CWC doesn’t have events; we have experienced because anyone can go to an event, but you have to be there to experience it.
Connect with Candace below: