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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ballooning 101 » » Top learning materials (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

FuDD
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Tucson, Az.
150 Posts

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So most magicians have the list of top (mostly books I hope)Tarbell,Vernon,etc.
But I was wondering what you balloon guys and gals consider your top 3 learning materials for ballooning?Be it dvd,book,or pdf file or anything else.

I've fallen hard for balloons and can't wait for more info,magazines,weekly jam I just found with some cool people.

Also It seems these guys all work for one guy doing random party's etc. for him but then they all work resturants just for tips.None of them get payed by the restaurant is this a no no?From other threads I've read it seems that getting work just for tips is frowned on? The few guys and gals there all seemed to be at least intermediate to very skilled twisters.Just wondering.

Thanks for your time.
may you be filled with loving kindness
http://www.williamsmagic.com
http://www.celebratemagic.com
Steve Yarosko
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BalloonHQ is a great place for learning. Check out the past columns and you will get a lot of great information. I would join BalloonHQ so that you can do a search on a specific sculpture you want to create to see what has been done in the past. As far as books, DVD's etc. I don't own a copy, but everyone says that Captain Visual's book is great. For DVD's anything by Don Caldwell, Ken Stillman, and Mark Byrne will provide you with a lot of great material. Also, David Grist Videos are a great foundation. The magazine "Balloon Magic" is awesome.

Sorry I gave you more than three. It is too hard to limit myself to only three with all of the great info that is out there. I could keep going. I am sure others will provide other sources.
Ryan Price
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winnipeg, MB, Canada
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I have to agree with Steve on his list. My favourite stuff is from Don followed closely by Mark. They are completely different styles but I get mileage out of both of their figures. I’m a fan of anything that is a hat or at least wearable. You can take anything that is a hat and turn it into a standard figure by adding legs.

On your question about only working for tips at restaurants that is definitely a no no. The restaurant at the very least should pay you enough to cover all your costs (balloons, pumps, gas for the car) then you can work for tips although I would never do it like that. What the others are doing is busking. Living in Arizona (I believe that’s where your from) I'm sure there is better places to busk than a restaurant.
FuDD
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Tucson, Az.
150 Posts

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I live in Tucson.Now we have a decent downtown that would be ok for busking but not as lively during the summers.College kids away,snow birds going back to the summer ranches etc.

Man I am very scared of doing anything in public at this point.I feel no matter how much I know I don't know near enough.

Also huuummm never mind Ill try balloon hq but It wont let me log on and I never got a confirmation email.So sometimes trying to navigate that site is hard for me anyway.

Thank you for the replies,Also I wanted to know has a book been published that goes over all the ins and outs of ballooning i.e. what types of balloons for line work,How do you incorporate larger sculptures in restaurant work,do you sacrifice time for better balloons and better reactions or go for speed and mass volume.Im sure many of these things are learned on the job but having someone who has that experience giving tips is what I am looking for.
I guess a mentor type teaching material.
And I know find locals, I have and its great but I need more info more experience, more knowledge.hahah loving balloons so much.

Thanks for listening to my rant.
may you be filled with loving kindness
http://www.williamsmagic.com
http://www.celebratemagic.com
Ryan Price
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winnipeg, MB, Canada
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I see, Captain Visuals "BIG BOOK OF BALLOON ART" has some details that may interest you. It also has some sculptures that most laymen would be pretty impressed by.
Bad to the Balloon
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Clearwater Florida
2116 Posts

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Wow the art of balloon has changed so much from when I first started.

My first exposure was from my mentor Windy Douton, the Balloonatic. Windy held some of the first ever speed balloon records with Guinness book of records. I was also graced by having Joe LaMonica as another friend and mentor. Windy and he came from the old school of ballooning.

I reference Joe La Monica in my second DVD Bad to the Balloon for the single balloon monkey head.

Then Tom Meyer's lecture on balloon hats started me on the path of only balloon hats. I would have to say Don and I were probably creating stuff about the same time frame. Since I wasn't as connected at that time to the balloon community I really didn't know anything about Don's work. That and the 17,000 mile difference.

That said:

Primer material:
Joe La Monica's book on balloons
Capt Visual's both books
Ralph Dewey's bubble books
Tom Meyer's hat book

However today I think most people are not so impressed with single balloon creations as they used to be.
For simple yet impressive balloons I would have to recommend my DVD's. Bad to the Balloon Volume #1 & #2. Available at http://www.BalloonGuy.NET

I have seen Don's lecture on wristables, great stuff. If you can't see him live buy his DVDs too.Mad Hatz and Wild Wearables Volume 5

For flamboyant over the top designs, North American Tour Fabrizio Bolzoni-DVD
Mark Byrne
AKA Mark the Balloon Guy
As seen on the TODAY SHOW
www.balloonguy.net
Creator of Bad to the Balloon DVD series
Go to my store: http://tinyurl.com/Bad2theBalloon
FuDD
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Tucson, Az.
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Thanks a lot guys.I am really enjoying my first experinces meeting and jamming with other twisters.What a great feeling.

Started meeting, once so far (wed.)ill be back for more.The jam is lead by Balloon Al from Tester the Balloon Jesters.Going to start heading up to Phoenix to jam once a month and then the jams once a week here in Tucson.I need more jam days .
may you be filled with loving kindness
http://www.williamsmagic.com
http://www.celebratemagic.com
Kevinr
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ALOT of great twisters in Phoenix...

I second what was said... One balloon stuff is just NOT impressive.. Don't waste your time. For speed and line work don't go over balloon items that are 3-4 balloons.. Marks Bad To The Balloon are the perfect balance they look good and are so quick to make. Mark came to a a clown convention in Denver I went (just to see Mark) and in less than 15 minutes had balloon hats on like half the people there with music for every single item he made.. Mark is super fast! The stuff also looked really good! He should have a world record!(Example he had jaws playing he was making a shark, he had the theme song Spiderman playing he made spiderman)


Don Caldwells stuff is great and very detailed.. I would reccomend all his dvd's they take some time to make there stuff but for table hopping they will get you some big tips. This stuff will keep the managers and owners thinking you are a pure artist!

http://www.Balloonhq.com if you are going to do balloons you have to be a member I check out that site 3-4 times a week.

Grist balloon videos really have some cool ideas for huge items. He was way advanced in the industry before his time. Its a shame he has passed away. You still can get his videos if you look for them they are great stuff.

Start stocking up on Qualatex Balloons DO NOT buy jewel tone colors they pop more and all the colors are see through.. Every other color are used depending on what you make. Currently I am about 50 percent magician and 50 percent balloon artist. I spend a lot less than people like Mark a month in balloons but I am buying about $100 bucks each month on Qualtex Balloon from http://www.balloonmerchant.com which I might ad they have the best prices in the industry and have been around since 1960 and are a great family business! (no one has balloons for less price larocks, tmeyrs all cost more..)

People will start asking you for things you don't have a balloon "recipe" for.. This is ok and will challange you to make your own. Today I made my very own "General Grevious" from Star Wars and Walle... no recipes just out of my head... Good times...
jakeg
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I prefer the Bellatex balloons to the Qualitex. The last 2 shipments of Qualitex that I got had too much breakage. (I bought them from my normal source, T. Meyers)
One balloon animals can go over big if you add something to them. A heart added to a poodle turns it into a completely different sculpture, and while made with 2 balloons, takes up almost no additional time and certainly no additional skill.
By the way, someone should mention Patricia Bunnel's dvd's. Her 'critters' are a big hit.
FuDD
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Tucson, Az.
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Wow thanks guys.
Balloon hq for me at least is hard to navigate.I enjoy it but trying to find stuff is kinda like throwing the dice.Maybe more time spent there would help to stop that.

Ive been buying my balloons from balloonmerchant was the cheapest I can find.Unfortunately my wife is not to pleased with my new hobby as far as "O the wall of books on magic and the shelfs of Magic mags are not enough now you need balloon dvds and 100s of balloons hahah.

I am hoping to get some practical advice,tips from the weekly jams.Because If I want to keep practicing and spending on this great hobby (for now) She wants me to be able to at least make money to pay for those things.(I am a cook/Ice sculpture) and currently the industry is being hit hard with the economy so money/hours are tighter than they used to be. Ramble ramble ramble.

Ive been thinking of just hitting the street with a sign."Learning to twist balloons, help me keep practicing" With a small list of figures/animals I am currently working on hahah.I was thinking if I did 5-8 animals/figures until I got them down it may help me get those new animals down quicker.


Thanks again guys Loving balloons
may you be filled with loving kindness
http://www.williamsmagic.com
http://www.celebratemagic.com
Danny The Idiot
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London, UK
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If you don't want to spend money - there are some really good Youtube video's on how to twist different figures, from the simple to the more complex. Youtube and the internet is a great free resource!!!

best wishes

Danny
Danny Schlesinger

www.CircoRidiculoso.com
FuDD
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Tucson, Az.
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Yeah I've been scouring the internet for anything and everything.Just made a prototype balloon apron (really small).Its very hard to find anything as far as plans or patterns for balloon bags/aprons.And the type that I'd like to get are crazy expensive haha.65+ for a apron and the bag I liked best was 200 something dollars a shifty or swifty something like that.

Thanks again for all the tips etc.

Starting to get a better feel for the layout/navigation of balloon HQ.
may you be filled with loving kindness
http://www.williamsmagic.com
http://www.celebratemagic.com
jakeg
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If you're looking for a great balloon bag, pull 'flower clown' up on youtube and look at the bags that he carries. He had some that were 1/2 price because the colors didn't suit him, (about $35 if I remember right). I bought one and it has more pockets and more room than I'll ever need. I like the apron for walk around, but the bag can't be beat for stationary busking or when you want to carry some magic props along with your balloons.
Kevinr
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Start going to family dinner places you should easily make 25-35 an hr in tips.. THIS doesn't INCLUDE PAY WHICH YOU SHOULD GET! Play with the times you work there 4pm-8pm maybe 5pm-9pm.. Maybe later maybe less hours who knows..

I found out that when I didn't use a ballon recipe I simply forgot it. But while working you will wont forget it.. Get a few gigs.. Make money.. Then it will all come along...
Bad to the Balloon
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Clearwater Florida
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I have my own pouch design, basically a Tool belt from HomeDepot, BUT if I was to redesign the way I do things I would use this:

http://www.twistemup.com/image/ELQD-Large.jpg
Very durable!!

Swifty bags are great if your stationary: http://swiftybags.com/
Allen is a great guy!! Holds 10,000 to 2,000 balloons
Mark Byrne
AKA Mark the Balloon Guy
As seen on the TODAY SHOW
www.balloonguy.net
Creator of Bad to the Balloon DVD series
Go to my store: http://tinyurl.com/Bad2theBalloon
FuDD
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Tucson, Az.
150 Posts

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Thanks Mark.

Yeah I love the look of the swifty bags but I can not love that price.Not currently anyway.Ive got my mother in law working on a bag.

One day I hope to be able to afford anything I may need to twist.At this point though my day job(cooking blahhh!!) isn't able to afford me many extras ^_^.I mean the Ice shop I do work at part time hasn't had me do a single carving in over 6 months and I haven't done any shop work or set ups (setting Ice sculptures up at events)in around 3 months.If you happen to be in the area order some ice pay for my hobbies hahah.
http://www.iceticeart.com
may you be filled with loving kindness
http://www.williamsmagic.com
http://www.celebratemagic.com
Kevinr
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Inner circle
1853 Posts

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Quote:
On 2009-06-18 10:57, FuDD wrote:
Thanks Mark.

Yeah I love the look of the swifty bags but I can not love that price.Not currently anyway.Ive got my mother in law working on a bag.

One day I hope to be able to afford anything I may need to twist.At this point though my day job(cooking blahhh!!) isn't able to afford me many extras ^_^.I mean the Ice shop I do work at part time hasn't had me do a single carving in over 6 months and I haven't done any shop work or set ups (setting Ice sculptures up at events)in around 3 months.If you happen to be in the area order some ice pay for my hobbies hahah.
http://www.iceticeart.com


great ice sculptures!
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