Interview with Balloon Hero, Gabrielle Hodge

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Gabrielle Hodge is a most whimsical and wonderful balloon twister who resides in the UK.

I really admire her ability to be so whimsical and just create out of her own head such wonderful joyful creations.

If you go to her Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/gabrielle.hodge.1?fref=ts, you will see every single day pretty much a new creation. I follow her work on Facebook and intend on replicating several of her designs and will be sure to show and tell here on my blog.

She challenges me without even realizing it how I need to develop my own style and to start trying to be more on the fly with my creating. The things she does with hearts are especially amazing and boy howdy- I intend on playing around more with sculpting with hearts as a result of seeing her awesome work! It makes sense she would be so good with sculpting with heart balloons because she has such heart and passion for this art. Gabrielle, thank you so much for sharing your work and for participating in this interview and for doing an art that brings a smile to anyone who looks at your work. πŸ™‚

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How long have you been twisting balloons? What caused you to start twisting?

I started balloon twisting about two and a half years ago. I was in a bit of a mid-life crisis and needed something new to do. I had always had a creative outlook on things and had always liked clowns so I thought I’d give clown school a try. Alongside clown school I took up balloon twisting and finally decided clown school wasn’t for me so I started to focus on the balloon side of things and have never looked back.

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What is your favorite balloon sculpture that you have made?

What is your favorite sculpture that someone else has made? (Include pictures if you can) Out of my many balloon sculptures that I have made I’ve had many favorites as every new sculpture is exciting, although a few that I especially enjoyed making are The Flintstones and my balloon representations of superheroes. I’ve been inspired by many others work and have many various favorites which are too many to name.

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Do you have any advice for people new to this art and or business? Is there anything you wish you were told when you started out that you would like to share with others?

My advice for people new to the art of balloon twisting is to keep practicing and seek inspiration from everywhere, whether it be a kids T.V. show or a fairytale story also the internet can be used as a great tool to improve your skill as there are lots tutorials. When I first started out balloon twisting I wish I was told how hard it is to get noticed by the public as a balloon twister and get them to appreciate your balloons.

Do you have any balloon heroes? If so who?

I gain inspiration from a lot of people whom I consider to be balloon heroes. But to name a few: Jeff Hayes, Philip Flash,Suzanne lively and Jonathan Fudge.

Do you have any personal goals you hope to achieve involving this art? Is there any kind of project you would like to see realized?

My goals would be to keep creating balloon models a hopefully develop more of a business in the balloon industry.

What is your favorite balloon color and shape?

My favorite shapes to use while balloon modeling are hearts and round balloons as there are various ways which you can work and twist them into your models, as for color I like colors such as the Caribbean blue and a lot of the tropical colors.

How would you describe your personality? What are you like? Is there a fictional character you really identify with?

Personally I am shy but am friendly to anyone who requires help or advice within the balloon community and once I am indulged in a conversation I can’t stop! I’m a very creative person because as a dyslexic I have never really been great with the written side of things so that’s why I choose to create things. I’m very devoted to my family and friends and very overprotective of my dachshund named Fred. My daughter relates me to the Disney character Goofy as I have a very similar goofy and quirky nature and basically I am a big kid but also Goofy is quite caring so I suppose it’s a good thing!

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What would you say is your biggest strength with this talent, what comes easy to you and how do you feel you shine? Is there anything that remains challenging for you?

My biggest strength with this talent would be my ability to create balloon models just by taking inspiration from a picture I have also been told I have a very good imagination and a creative brain.

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What are your other interests and hobbies?

I am an animal lover and also love photography and anything artistic such as making jewelry although mainly balloons take up most of my life let’s just say I’m addicted.

What would you say is your favorite memory involving balloon twisting?

My first time I made balloons publicly at an event in a hotel this is when my balloons started getting noticed and I started receiving positive feedback. It was also a nice feeling to see my balloon creations put a smile on children’s and some adults faces.

Have you ever been to any balloon workshops or balloon conventions? What were they like and how did they change or not change your life? If you haven’t, what are some balloon events that you would like to attend?

I have not been to any balloon workshops or conventions, although would love to in the future I have seen pictures and people’s feedback from balloon conventions in America and would love to visit someday to join in with the fun. I hope to start going to them in the UK too when I get the chance as I’m sure I would gain more skill and experience from these events.

About how many balloons do you think you go through in a week?

It mainly depends on how many creations I have made and how many bookings I have but basically I would say lots because I am always needing more and more balloons.

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