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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ballooning 101 » » Ken Stillman's Fantasy Princesses (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Alex Rapattoni
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Hey guys.

I have been doing research for what feels like hours and am starting to get a little stir crazy. I thought I would come to the pro's for advice.

I am on the verge if buying this dvd, but before I did I had a couple questions.

It looks like it's necessary for at least the bottom of the dress to be made out of 660's, but do the rest of balloons have to be betallatex too? I haven't used Betallatex before so I would have to by a bunch of all new balloons, which is ok. But that leads me to my next question.

Is there a place where you can find all these from one seller at good prices, or do I have to buy from multiple sellers for the best prices?

Any tips or advice would be helpful.

Thanks,

Alex
Weird is part of the job.
Smarty Pants World
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Hey Alex,

In regards to your post, I love the Fantasy Princesses DVD. Ken's got a great method of teaching the princess - the final product looks VERY impressive but doesn't require very advanced skills. It's not a beginner DVD per se, but the finished work looks a lot more difficult than it really is.

While Ken prefers Betallatex, you can certainly substitute Qualatex. In fact I generally this with Qualatex 646s since I do prefer Q to B for most of my balloon twisting. It's really not a big deal - the 646s are slightly shorter but the finished product looks pretty much the same with either company's balloons.
Steve Yarosko
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Alex,

Like Smarty, I often use Qualatex 350's for the dress and size everything else down as the 660 makes a huge Princess, and is almost too big for some homes that I entertain in. It is a judgment call. You should be able to get all of the specific balloons you need from one supplier. Ken teaches the Princesses in a modular style. To avoid copyright infringement he doesn't teach specific Princesses such as Snow White or Cinderella, but does teach what you would need to make these figures using different colors in the different modules. I hope that makes sense. If you want to make a specific Princess, do a Google Image search for that Princess and it is an easy process to figure out how to make any Princess that you want. I've even seen Ken make a Mrs. Santa Claus using this design.
Kevinr
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I own teh DVD and have made all of the ones on the DVD and made up ones on my own.

Many of the designs require a very large heart in the middle made from Betallatex. However, anything can be modified.
Powermagic
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I was thinking of getting into larger sculptures. How would you charge for one of these? What is going rate to add in a full sized princess?
Kevinr
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Most people WAY under bid these and ALL large sculptures.

Go on balloonhq and see huge designs and maybe and many balloon dresses that took 8 hours or longer to build and $100 bucks in balloons and they have only charged at best $500 if they are lucky...

I know a guy who took 2 days 16 hours (8 hours each day) to build a giant balloon design and he was so proud he made $800 dollars! When he figured it cost him $200 in balloons and gas and time to pick up balloons and material he made less than $600 for 16 hours of pre tax dollars.

Not my idea of a fun time...
Rob Redmon
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Seeing as how this topic has been resurrected... I'll toss out a question too.

Is a princess more along the lines of a 60 minute or a 6 hour build? It's hard to tell what all might be going on inside so it's hard for me to guess. I know repetition can dramatically effect build time but was curious what kinds of times others had for it.

Thanks!
- Rob
Ryan Price
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With practice you can definitely do it in less than an hour. I have only made it a couple times. First time took about 90 minutes following the DVD the second time was right around 60 minutes as I didn't need to reference it as much.
Powermagic
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Ken Stillman just responded to me and told me that for him, the guy who created these, it takes HIM 45-60 min. He said he knows guys selling these from $125-350.
Average he stated is $150-200

I have never gotten into these before. Seems like you have to worry allot about how to get these built and to the site or you have to be confident at the site that you really know how long it will take.
Is it true the princess is modular so you can assemble on site but get it in the SUV?

Kevin, I guess you can look at it as what a performers time is worth or what the average person makes daily. Your friend taking home $600 gross profit still works out to $37.50 per hour How many people make that per hour today?

I am still thankfully amazed that there are people out there that want to pay for something that will pop or deflate. To make $150 for and hour work, and not HARD back break work at that, is good money. It might not be what someone today gets for a show but it is again, more than most make for an hour of meaningful work.

Paying for entertainment is a luxury. We should remember that. To pay $150 for a full size balloon princess, that will pop and deflate, maybe even same day... who are these people willing to pay? I love the impermanance of it. We have Tibetan Sand painting, Sand painting ,then Chalk Art and maybe even balloon art is up there since it is guaranteed to fall apart in days. Oh sure I ahve had people tell me things have lasted for a month, but at this size, I can only imagine it could be same day since who is going to be able to take it home? Or if home, there are so many hazards.

I am not sure my market has people willing to pay for the full size. Maybe they would pay $50 for one adapted to 260s as a table topper. I do not know.

Kevin I wonder if your friend just likes the challenge. I know I have dabbled with some more complex balloons and even given the practice ones away as bonuses. There is the fun challenge aspect of it and the pride of the crowd response. This could be why he was happy to make money for two FULL days of work because he also pulled off something new or fun to him.
I do like how you pointed out the balloon cost. Even 260s went from a couple pennies to a nickle a piece . I used to dropp balloons all the time and let them go. Now each one adds up so I hate to have them pop or drop. You know, I think people think they are free. Clients do not realize they cost money.
Bad to the Balloon
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What amazes me is people will pay $150 for a dozen roses that will be dead in 3 days.

ZERO skill to make or do....

Then they charge for delivery....

Wake up balloon artists charge what your worth.

To Powermagic ... really you can't see the value in what balloon art is? I guess it is fine for a magician to get $250 per hour to walk around with a deck of cards. $3.50 at walmart....
Mark Byrne
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Christopher Lyle
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Since receiving Buster's new DVD Collection I have made quite a few of the BIG AND BAD Sculptures for folks for quite a bit money.

One night, my Tuesday Night Restaurant asked me if I could make anything really large that they could put around a display for a drink special they were doing that would help attract people's attention to the signage...I said sure. I billed them extra for the sculptures which they were fine with (basically just my cost). So I I showed up with the Shark, the T-Rex, and the Gorilla and we made the display look awesome! Had I been thinking, I would have taken a photo of it but since I'm an idiot....

Anyhow, people saw it them and were blown away and wanted me to make those for them right then and there...which I obviously couldn't do with a packed restaurant full of people. So now, I allow people to pre-order sculptures at my restaurants. They can call me up to Sunday Evening (or email) and tell me what they'd like, I quote them a fee and if they accept, I make it and bring it to the restaurant with me. It advertises to others that I can make the insane and I also make quite a bit of extra at the same time on top of my fee for the restaurant.

Food for thought...
In Mystery,


Christopher Lyle
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Powermagic
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I do not know anyone who pays $150 for roses. They do not cost tha much in my area
People pay for things they can not do or get themselves. The effect of roses on SOME woman are worth it at any price.
But I have always said, if you grow your own roses and she knows it, she will value the roses less. And to grow a perfect rose DOES take skill. I grow plants, ther is more to it than putting a seed in the ground.


AND I never said I personally could not see the value in balloon art. I said, it was a luxury and we should be thankful for it, Read my comments again, I admire it and am amazed that the average party client sees value in it, I do not know where you live. But $150 or more for one aspect of a party, when they have to pay for so much else, is amazing since it is unlikely the princess will make it home in one piece. This means the roses will outlast since you can put them in water , add some perservative and get 2 weeks. And it fits on the table.

As to paying a guy to do close up magic, with all of these things, it is about doing things they cant. People only are interested in what they can not do themselves. When someone sees good close up magic they do take something home with them. Wonder. How did he do that one.... If the guy was funny they got a good laugh.

Now Bad to the Balloon, I am not knocking it. I think you mis read my comments. I want to get into the larger sculptures since they seem to impress people. I am not downgrading it but you have to be real. Art that is in permanant is an interesting concept. It is amazing people want to pay for it since is does not last forever and has allot of labor.

Again go back to Tibetan Sand Painting. The amount of labor and care only to be swept away.... But for them, there is a deeper meaning, a massage about livng life in the moment, things are not permanent.

Making a Balloon princess does not have that deeper meaning, It is a luxury decoration. That is the reality of it.
Yes even a magician is a luxury item. It is amazing anyone wants to give us money to creat fun. But I think you would agree, that guy with the $3.50 deck of cards, if he is truely entertaining, has put many more hours into it than just the cost of the cards. You know that and I guess that was your point since you put time in to learn to make your designs. So really you have to admit you were a bit harsh on your example of the card magician He has worked hours to get the illusion down so it can fool them nad you took hours to figure out yoru designs or pactice designs you learn from books and videos.

You are right, you should be paid waht they are worth for the time they put into it. But what is that price and how do you determine it. I just heard that someone in NY is charging $100 for one princess and $175 for two and delivery is extra.

If I am sitting home doing nothing this week I might take less for a princess than if I am busy for $13 in balloons and an hour of time.


So what are balloon artists worth?
Yeah that is just as loaded as what magicians are worth. But if you have a formula for balloon artists, please post it.
I think you are worth what they are willing to pay and what you think you are worth.
Quote:


On 2012-02-20 08:09, Bad to the Balloon wrote:
What amazes me is people will pay $150 for a dozen roses that will be dead in 3 days.

ZERO skill to make or do....

Then they charge for delivery....

Wake up balloon artists charge what your worth.

To Powermagic ... really you can't see the value in what balloon art is? I guess it is fine for a magician to get $250 per hour to walk around with a deck of cards. $3.50 at walmart....
Pokie-Poke
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If you make a balloon princess for, lets say, a sweet 16 party, and the people love it, it "copleats the look they were going for" and makes the moment that mutch better. it will pop, like the sand drifting away, but it had done it's job.
rember, the balloon is still cheaper than: the Dj, limo, Catering hall, her dress, the flowers, on a bigger party, or something like a weding they spend that on the invitations.

I did a decor job once for a company, nothing but round balloons, and they got payed big bucks! it was new years eve.could they get that any other day?

At no point are you realy selling the balloon, no more than the guy is selling his deck of cards, you are selling the impact the balloon will have on the gusets of the party.

oh and if it helps I do give them the cards, on at a time with there name on it ofcorse!
www.pokie-poke.com
The Adventure cont...
Steve Yarosko
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It's been my experience that my larger pieces that I have delivered last a lot longer than a couple days. I've had people tell me they have had the pieces for over a month! The rule of thumb is, the larger the balloon, the longer it will last. In other words, if a sculpture is made out of 646's it will last a lot longer than a sculpture made out of 160's. I've been told regularly from past clients that they were amazed at how long the balloon sculpture I made for them lasted.
Powermagic
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But the reality is a full size prncess will be hard to get home and might not make it. And when you say LAST a month, you can not mean it stays perfect. Maybe part of structure deflate and it gets the "I'mmm melting! effect.

As far as a limo, it is practical why to party with a group and not drink and drive. A DJ plays the music they want to hear and dance to all night, ect.
A single princess will get admirers for sure who will appreciate it and take photos. But with or without it, the party will still go on.

That is all I am saying, that sometimes it will be hard for people to see the value of just single accent.

For instance I just mentioned this to two people I know and they said they would never spend $150 on single balloon sculpture. But I am sure they are thinking birthday party parties.


I am thinking of doing this. BTW in the photos and with his kits he has 16" yellow heart balloons. Does he give a resourcefor them since Larocks does not carry blue or yellow.
FuDD
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If I can make a quality Balloon, well made and no one else can in my area I am going to get top dollar for my area.Of course the guy down doing balloon dogs probably wont see the point in using more balloons and time but I sure do.Also it will require some planning specially if you want to transport a large sculpture and all you have is a Mini....There is no packs flat blows up big, unless as you know we build it there.I guess my point is do what is best for you and how you feel!!

I hope you find your range for your skill and location.And willingness to invest the time and effort into elevating balloons.Its an art, or it can be, in the right hands.... just like magic.
may you be filled with loving kindness
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Kevinr
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Quote:
On 2012-02-20 11:35, Christopher Lyle wrote:

So now, I allow people to pre-order sculptures at my restaurants. They can call me up to Sunday Evening (or email) and tell me what they'd like, I quote them a fee and if they accept, I make it and bring it to the restaurant with me. It advertises to others that I can make the insane and I also make quite a bit of extra at the same time on top of my fee for the restaurant.



Orders like a pizza shop love the idea buddy. Is there a link on your website for this? I would like more information on this concept.
Kevinr
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Quote:
On 2012-02-19 19:37, Powermagic wrote:

Works out to $37.50 per hour How many people make that per hour today?

Kevin I wonder if your friend just likes the challenge. I know I have dabbled with some more complex balloons and even given the practice ones away as bonuses. There is the fun challenge aspect of it and the pride of the crowd response. This could be why he was happy to make money for two FULL days of work because he also pulled off something new or fun to him.
I do like how you pointed out the balloon cost. Even 260s went from a couple pennies to a nickle a piece . I used to dropp balloons all the time and let them go. Now each one adds up so I hate to have them pop or drop. You know, I think people think they are free. Clients do not realize they cost money.



$37.50 before taxes really?

Why not then just offer balloon or magic shows for $37.50 an hour.. Crazy eh?

If you can do 6 birthday parties for balloons at 2 hours each at $125 per hour that's $1500.00 for the week. and 12 hours of your time. Why would you spend 16 hours to build a huge sculpture for just $600 when you can make $1500??


On the magic side even on the low end (not my price) the example might be $200 for a 35 minute magic show. 8 shows a week that's $1600 a week. Why blow 16 hours for just $600 on some huge balloon sculpture is what I was explaining to my buddy.


Charge what your worth (a lot) or skip in and make better money with the shows and parties.
Steve Yarosko
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The big balloon sculptures I have made and delivered to someone's house usually stays there. For instance I made a large snowman for a Christmas party that was in the earlier part of December, but lasted until after Christmas. It stayed at my client's house and was part of the Christmas decor. I got the same comments about a life size Santa I made for another client. You are right, they do deflate, but depending on the sculpture, it will deflate in proportion, and not get that "It's melting" look. I've made the large princess a few times with the 660's, but usually make it smaller with 350's. I'm not sure how they deflate over time. At the other end of the spectrum, I make a Hello Kitty Bracelet with a barely inflated 6" heart. As it deflates it actually gets cuter. It's like a balloon shrinky-dink! I agree with Fudd. Do what's best for you!! If you don't think making large balloons are for you, don't do 'em! My comments here are just to tell you my real world experience with large pieces.
Bad to the Balloon
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http://articles.cnn.com/2011-02-10/livin......M:LIVING

http://www.signatureice.com/info.html
Ice Sculptures are $200 -$400 for a 3 ft sculpture

Sure sounded like you were knocking the price and value.
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
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