Dylan Gelinas was kind enough to participate in an interview with yours truly.
I have really enjoyed watching and learning from his YouTube tutorial videos.
His YouTube channel=
He has also made quite a nice website where he is selling pretty awesome balloon tutorials via PDF. (I have reviewed his Bartleby The Leprechaun PDF, you can find it under my 147th Balloon Sculpture post.)
Link to his website=
He is from Portland, Oregon where he resides with his adorable wife. Dylan, thank you so much for participating in this interview and I look forward to seeing what further amazing creations you come up with, keep twisting as they say. 🙂
1. How long have you been twisting balloons? What prompted you to start twisting and what keeps you twisting?
I have been twisting for about 10 years. It all started when I was failing a class in middle school and had to work at the book fair for extra credit. At the end they let me pick out a book for myself and although the yoga ball looked fun I went with the balloon kit. I found that I didn’t have any problems making anything in the book so I just kept going.
2. What is your favorite color and type of balloon?
I really enjoy Mocha brown and tend to use it a lot. It is just very versatile and lends itself to many different designs. As for type, I would lean to geos as they can be distorted in so many ways.
3. Do you prefer doing decor, doing birthday parties, or twisting for larger events, do you have a preference of balloon twisting venue or format? Do you intend on focusing or specializing in one venue or format or do you prefer to be like a jack of all trades and do it all?
I love custom decor work. I don’t do anything involving pillars or arches but I really like centerpieces. I like doing parties as well as they let me interact directly with people but I cant make sculptures as involved as I would like.
4. What do you wish people had told you about starting a balloon twisting business, do you have any advice or heads up that you would like to share for others either thinking about starting one or newly started.
I wish people had told me more about actually pushing yourself. When I started I did not think to much of twisting as a full time job. Gigs trickled in more and more as word spread but I was completely passive. It was not until later that I realized that everything is waiting for you to take it. All you have to do is ask.
I have consulted with some of the best minds in the business just by asking for a moment of their time. I have been on TV just because I emailed a producer and asked if they would want me. I have booked myself more then I can handle sometimes just because I see a market and ask them if they would be interested in me.
Opportunity is like the girl of your dreams. Some go their whole life waiting for her to show up when really she was there all along just waiting for you to talk to her.
5. Who are your balloon heroes if any? What other balloon twisters do you admire?
Balloon heros? Oh boy I could name quite a few. Firstly would be Addi Somekh. He does the most beautiful work I have ever seen. Simplistic but stylish perfected. I stumbled upon a movie called Balloon Hat a long time ago and the story was so beautiful and inspirational. He is a great man.
Buster Balloon. Surely he must be on everyones list. He really pushed the use of simple lines in balloon work which is something I could not agree more with. I detest weaving. I find it boring and ugly. Busters work is not like that. Everything there serves a purpose be it for or function. Exactly what good art should be.
Lastly, Steve Martin. While not someone many would consider a balloon twister he was the first to show me that balloons were a tool to display yourself on the worlds stage. His comedy work in the 70s is my single biggest regret about being so young. To see him live would have be miraculous.
6. What is your favorite all time balloon sculpture? It could be yours or someone else’s or feel free to answer for each.
I really enjoy my frog. He is simple and if done right only appears at the very end taking everyone by surprise.
As for others? I love Addi Somekh’s flower. It is in my opinion the most well rounded balloon sculpture. It has the right size, goes together fast, and amazes people as you spiral the balloon as it inflates around your fingers. Love at first sight.
7. Do you have any specific goals or aspirations you would like to reach with balloon twisting? What are your plans for the future with this art?
I really wish I could tell you I look that far ahead. All I know for sure is that it is what I want to do for the foreseeable future and I will work with what the world gives me.
8. What are some other hobbies that you enjoy doing and why do you enjoy them?
I love the Ukulele. I place that love in the hands of my good friend Madi who first really showed me the great satisfaction that comes from making music. I suppose it appeals to what I love to do most. I love to create something from nothing.
9. What do you feel are your strengths when it comes to balloon twisting and what are your weaknesses with it?
I suppose my greatest strength may also be my greatest weakness. I am never satisfied with my work. I always see the flaws and I always feel like it is my job to fix them. This keeps me going and trying new things in the hopes that one day I will find what I am looking for but only seeing faults is not easy.
10. How would you describe your personality and real life self to others? What could someone expect if they were to meet you? I know that I have compared you to Topher Grace on That 70’s Show, how would rate that impression, accurate or inaccurate and how so?
Well I never really watched That 70s Show but I do remember that I loved the way they dressed. I have always enjoyed 70s fashion and shirts with big collars. I am very industrious and love making and fixing things like pinball machines or small electrical gadgets. I enjoy working with people and seeing people happy makes myself happy. My ambition if to be a fair mixture of Ferris Bueller, Steve Martin, and Quentin Tarantino. So… Yeah.