I had the pleasure of emailing back and forth with Andre and getting an interview together with him. He is one of my all time favorite balloon heroes. I have loved learning from him on his youtube channel. He has always impressed me with his great art and skill and methodical precision, and how considerate he is of his learning audience. He puts great care into all he does and goes for high quality. I even find it touching how he is gentle with his balloon twisting, you can tell he takes great care and is in love with the art.
Be sure to check out his Youtube channel for awesome tutorials= http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz2H9snzbr9qZC5vytd9xZQ?feature=watch
His website where you can purchase balloons and things like his fabulous balloon bride tutorial=
(I have replicated and reviewed his balloon bride tutorial and you can find my post about it under 145th Balloon Sculpture.)
He is German residing in Germany and so there were translation issues to be addressed. I used Google Translate but there were obvious things that still needed major ironing out. I was fortunate to find Kathleen Willis who kindly helped me translate his German answers so that it could be cleaner and as clear as possible.
One thing that does not get lost in translation is Andre is a kind artistic genius. He has a beautiful wife and 2 daughters. Just look at the pictures below. Adorable, simply adorable family! How can you not just love these folks?
Thank you Andre for participating in this interview and also special thanks to Kathleen Willis for translating. 🙂
“… about 2 years ago I twisted my very first balloon… so I have not been in the business for very long.”
2. What inspired you to start twisting? What do you enjoy most about the art?
“One day I was talking to a balloon artist and that is when I got curious about balloon twisting. A couple of days later I bought myself some balloons, a balloon book and a pump. After a couple of tries it had worked pretty well. I had so much fun that I truly did not want to stop. The thing I like the most about balloon twisting is that children have so much fun… for example when I twist an animal children are so fascinated just watching me and they are so happy when I give it to them.
One other thing I like most about balloon twisting is that you can create very complex figures out of simple shapes. You have lots of possibilities to vary and be creative.”
3. Do you have any balloon twisting heroes?
“Of course – Ken Stillman. I have seen lots of his videos and figures that he has created. I most enjoyed his hero figures. I really wanted to duplicate his figures without watching his DVD. It was not about the money… I just wanted to be able to create. Over time I started to create my own figures. I admire everybody who puts their video about balloon art on the internet. There are a lot of unknown artists on the internet that you can learn from. I wanted to mention a couple of artist that I like watching on youtube.com:
megalex Zaragoza, MrBomasBalloons, globosilusion”
4. How many balloons do you go through in a week?
“It is hard to say … 0 – 1000? When I practice for a show I can easily go through a couple of hundred balloons (my children have a blast popping those balloons)
5. What are your aspirations in the balloon twisting field? Do you have any specific goals?
“Since I am still in the early stage I would love to perform more often and would like to become more known in my area where I live. I am performing more now (I think I am more well known on the internet than in my hometown 😉
I definitely want to continue to post videos even when there is less and less time for it. I have lots of fun and I always get a lot of positive comments.”
6. What is your personal favorite design?
“This picture is fascinating. I think you cannot do anymore with this balloon creation… chin, nose, mouth, cheekbones, forehead, eyes and ears are all on the right place and have about the proper proportion… a master piece.”
7. Which color and type of balloon is your favorite?
“Most of the time I work with size 260 model balloons. My favorite color is blush. With blush you can create funny faces.”
8. What are some other hobbies/things you enjoy doing?
“Balloons are my hobbies. I am doing this on the side as I am a firefighter by day. I hope to grow my balloon business at some point. I am also a family man and try to do lots of things with my wife and children. I also do sports but I don’t get to do it as often as I want to.”
9. Do you have any advice for people starting out especially when it comes to the business side? Were there any obstacles or challenges that you wish you were informed about ahead of time?
“Since I am still in the beginning of my balloon business I still sometimes need help and advice. My advice to anybody who would want to start in the balloon twisting business is just to be yourself and don’t think too hard about it… just do it. You learn from your mistakes and the more you practice the better you get over time. I had a couple of obstacles like – “How will I get my first performance?” or “What figures will I present in my first performance?” or “Can I juggle work, family, balloon performances and online shop all together?” You just have to take it one day at a time and don’t let set back’s bother you too much.
10. How would you describe yourself – personality, temperament?
I try to make everything quiet, then am now and again, nevertheless, a little bit überschwänglich.
Absolutely sure appearance with absolute cluelessness (-;