Originally posted 12-29-09 in MBD2
“One of my goals is to elevate the status of our art form. We are artists,” said Vicky Kimble, CBA, owner of IncrediBalloons in Loveland, Ohio, and a balloon artist, entertainer and decorator.
Currently, some of her work is available for purchase through the Mac Worthington Gallery of Contemporary Art in Columbus, Ohio. She has 10 sculptures available including her award winning Bon Appetit spaghetti dinner. Her items are sold online as well as in the gallery itself. “I’d love to have my balloon work recognized in the art world,” she said.
Easily identified by her trademark large hoop earrings made out of balloons, Kimble said, “I don’t go out the door without two things–the symbol of my faith (a cross worn on her clothing or as jewelry) and the symbol of my work (her earrings). The earrings have been a great conversation piece!” She would then take the opportunity to pass out business cards.
Kimble and her company IncrediBalloons (visit www.incrediballoons.com ) offers several services including balloon entertainment, on site décor, and a science program. “In the science program I teach basic scientific principles through balloons and balloon sculpting,” she said. “It’s a 45-minute action packed interactive program.” Some of the principles include air pressure, air displacement, gravity, static electricity, chemical change and propulsion.
As a balloon entertainer, Kimble said she is stylized in her work and wears a button that says Surprise Specialist. For example, if she is doing line work, she doesn’t give the child a bunch of choices. “If I don’t take control of the situation, it will take control of me,” she said.
After all, how many times have twisters faced the indecisive child that barks out a request that may not be the best or most representative of the twisters work? Or how many times have twisters faced the parent that seems to think the child must have a specific request at the ready, or the parent that does all the talking for the child? Kimble said when she encounters that, she will then talk to the parent saying something to the effect that she realizes they are making decisions for their families all the time, now it’s time to let the balloon lady make decisions and create something special for their child.
“It makes me a better entertainer,“ she said. “I don’t give them a chance to ask ‘What can you make?’ For example, in my line work I rarely repeat myself. And with each sculpture there’s patter.” She said she will also tell the child that because they are special she will create something very special just for them.
Family is an important part of her life. At home, her 18 year old twin boys are her best critics. “They hold me at a very high level,” she said. And this past year she and her husband took their first vacation without them. “They’re usually okay until the food runs out!” she said. As far as unwinding, Kimble said, “I love puzzles!” This includes soduku, logic problems, word games–she’s a professed Scrabble fanatic, and backgammon.
Kimble will be teaching a couple classes at the Twist and Shout convention in February 2010.
First, she will offer a class on her Balloosion technique. “I wanted to create things that people can keep forever,“ she said. “It refers to the art of using uninflated balloons with other materials to make long lasting balloon sculptures,” she said. “They’re similar to fantasy flowers but fantasy flowers are stretched and have a tendency to come apart.” The class will be a hands-on workshop where participants will create and leave with a project.
Second, she will be offering a class called Market Trek. “We are an incredible marketing tool!” she exclaims. The goal of the class is for advanced twisters to take their current skills and find new directions for marketing themselves. Kimble will take participants down the marketing road that has not been frequently traveled, the one about creating sculptures to enhance other people’s businesses. “Marketplace, the final frontier!” she said excitedly. “I’m always looking to go where no balloon artist has gone before.”
“Everything inspires me” she said. “When I look at something I always wonder how I can make it out of balloons.” For her future, “I see myself as always involved in the balloon industry. I have a couple projects,” she said. “I plan to keep learning and growing and doing and building.” Which is exactly the kind of advice she would tell someone new to the industry.
“Never stop learning. Pick everybody’s brain whose work you respect,” she said. “Nobody in this industry is unapproachable, it’s a very friendly industry.” She added, “Establish yourself as a professional. If you value yourself, other people will, too.”
“We are involved in a baby industry,” she said. “The possibilities are endless!”
More about the author Holly Nagel