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 Post subject: Jack Mattson Interview 8/14th June
PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 5:02 pm 
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Jack has kindly agreed to give up some of his time to answer the questions this week on balloon chat and some from the Uk will probably be wondering.....................who's Jack :D
Well once you've seen his portfolio and see that he won twister of the year 2009 at twist and shout this year then you'll know who Jack is ;)
I met Jack for the first time at twist and shout and he's very dedicated and focused on his work, so please feel free to ask him some questions about his twisting life and his other job as a magician as I believe Jack still works in a magic shop in Southern California.
Portfolio details although be warned there are 34 pages of balloons and you will need some time to view everything; http://jackmagic1.balloonhq.com/

He also has a socal twisting group; http://www.socalballoonartists.com/about.html

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Mattson Interview 8/14th June
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:58 pm 
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Hello all! First off I'd like to thank Graham for not only giving me the opportunity to say hello to all of you, but for making the time to provide this great place for us to gather. Thanks again Graham! I hope you dont mind I start this a bit early. Here are some answers to your questions......

1, What road led you into balloon modelling?
I started playing with magic about 11 years ago. As all magicians know, family members will no longer hire out a magician once there's one in the family. This made me think I should learn some balloon animals and led me to my first book by Marvin Hardy. Then I met Don and the rest is a blur....

2, when did you get started with balloons?
I twisted my first dog about nine years ago then really developed a passion for the art once I started paying attention to what Don Caldwell was doing with balloons.

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Mattson Interview 8/14th June
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:30 pm 
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3, What’s your best twisting experience?
My first answer to this question was "winning the honor of Top Twister at Twist and Shout 09." Then I thought, even a BETTER experience has been the opportunity to meet all of you folks in the balloon community. Winning awards is great, but attending conventions and meeting new friends from around the world has been my best twisting experience by far!!

4, What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you during a ballooning/entertaining session?
A drunken grandmother demanded I put her grandchild in front of everyone. "Just make him a quick one." We all know that one.... After explaining I was just about done with my other group and her grandson was about to get the best balloon I could make him she yells out "he's an a-- h---, he doesnt like kids, lets go." Then proceeds to go to the group I was working with and tries to tell them what a blankity blank I am and how I dont like kids and such. This is a VERY mild version. The long version involves the grandmothers son and daughter yelling at me also. I was very hurt that night.....

5, What do you most enjoy about twisting & why?
What I like most about twisting is the reactions the art receives. There is nothing better than a stone face CEO putting on a giant balloon hat and acting like the character or thing he now looks like. I can tell a story of a couple who sent me an email telling me the kissing monkeys I made for them helped their marriage. Balloon artists have the ability to bring out emotion unlike any other entertainer. This on top of having the best friends in the world is what I enjoy most.

6, What's your favourite age to entertain?
Sorry kids! Children will like pretty much anything handed to them if presented right. Its the adults I love to entertain!!! Again, a child smiling is cute. However two adults running around chasing eachother with balloon hats on is priceless. I stopped counting the number of adults who at first thought the balloon guy was childish but were first to cut in line once they saw what we can do now days.
7, Do you have the same act but vary the presentation for all ages or do you have set acts for different ages?
If we are talking about a stage act I guess you can say what I do is the same act all the time. I never considered what I did to be anything but for a young audience until I was hired to perform the act for a dads Christmas party where no children would be attending. It was the best show Ive done yet. The only difference are the jokes and way I interact with the volunteers brought up on stage.

8, What’s your favourite thing to make at the moment?
Smiles! Honestly my favorite thing to make is something I have never made before. I take every request I can very seriously. If they took the time to think of it, I probably should take the time to know it because it will most likely be asked for again.

9, What is the most asked for model?
As we all know if we ask "what can I make you", we are setting ourselves up for the old "I want a dog, a sword or a flower." I try to look at the child and imagine what they would like most so this question is a bit hard to answer. If a boy asks for a sword I will ask him why he wants a sword. I will ask him if its because he watches TV or does karate, etc etc. This will lead me to something else I can make for him besides the basic stuff. I can tell you though if I make my Minnie Mouse bracelet, Mickey or Dons lady bug/hula monkey, I will have to fight off the demands for duplications all night long. Most of the time I will not make these until the last ten minutes of a gig:)

10, What do you tend to do more of if stuck in the 'balloon production line' model?
I try as hard as I can not to get myself in to these situations. The balloon companies have given us so much new product to play with, unfortunately the pieces cannot be made quick enough to do in line situations. However I still try to apply the "Wow Factor" to even a one-balloon design. So no matter what, stuck in a line situation or at home with hours to work, I still try to make something never seen before by the public. Thanks to Don, I also use the idead of wands and prints.

11, Who is your market aimed at?
Adults and companies looking to show off to their clients by hiring someone and something different, new and exciting.

12, What kind of work do you do mostly - parties? Corporate? Etc
Most of the events I get called for are birthday parties. I end up turning most of them down and refering others because I do not work outdoors. My most sought after gigs are company parties or events where I can dress people up in costumes.

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Last edited by jackmagic1 on Thu Jun 04, 2009 6:25 am, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Mattson Interview 8/14th June
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:54 pm 
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jackmagic1 wrote:

4, What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you during a ballooning/entertaining session?
A drunken grandmother demanded I put her grandchild in front of everyone. "Just make him a quick one." We all know that one.... After explaining I was just about done with my other group and her grandson was about to get the best balloon I could make him she yells out "he's an a-- h---, he doesnt like kids, lets go." Then proceeds to go to the group I was working with and tries to tell them what a blankity blank I am and how I dont like kids and such. This is a VERY mild version. The long version involves the grandmothers son and daughter yelling at me also. I was very hurt that night.....



So what do you do in a situation like this?? If you have a parent or guardian that's totally irrate & making a HUGE scene?

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Mattson Interview 8/14th June
PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:57 am 
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So what do you do in a situation like this?? If you have a parent or guardian that's totally irrate & making a HUGE scene?
This is a good question. Every situation is different but my goal is always the same. I will attempt to find someone else to take over the battle for me. When the grandmother was calling me names in front of the other group, I had already made them a cute cat. The girl with the cat told the grandmother to "go drink some more." I quickly slipped to the other side of the group and continued to make them happy. The one thing I suggest NOT doing is having any further conversation with someone getting this out of hand. Get out of there as quick as possible. Do not try to explain yourself or even make the person happy. If they must have a balloon, give them a blown up 260 and walk away. Obviously there will be no way to please this person. So again, I try to find someone else who has nothing to lose by taking my side.

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Mattson Interview 8/14th June
PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:25 am 
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13, What is your favourite/ideal gig to do?
I recently had the pleasure of working with the great Brian Asman who will be doing the next interview. Being able to hang out with such a great artist and having so much fun while learning is great. Doing all that AND calling it a gig is ideal!

14, What irritates you most at a gig?
Pushy parents. We all know the ones Im talking about....

15, How do you book yourself?
I book myself mostly through examples of my work and word of mouth. I will sometimes print out business cards from my computer but only ten at a time. I cant forget my friends in the area who also keep me busy. Thank you all!

16, What’s the biggest thing you’ve ever made?
I dont think arches count... The biggest thing I have made in one sculpture by myself had to be the King Neptune piece I did at Twist and Shout 09. However this 4th of July, with some help, I will be building an 8x10x12' parade float which will be my biggest yet.

17, What has been your proudest achievement in our wonderful world of twisted latex?
Achieving awards, as well as the honor of Top Twister has made me very proud. However I will repeat myself, achieving the friendships and relationships in the balloon community towers over any personal achievement. For this I am most proud....

18, What advice would you give to someone starting out, or wanting to increase their business?
Practice and never stop collecting resources. Spending time on web sites like this is the best gift anyone wanting to venture in to the balloon community could receive. Conventions are life changing, but sites like these keep tabs on the conventions and provide the best resources as well as kind, sharing people. Don said it best. The one thing you must have in the art is passion. Passion to be the best should be the driving force to the cash flow, not marketing books and how to self help tapes. Those only make the person who wrote that information money. I can easily say I am a perfect example of what pure passion can lead to. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be chatting in a balloon forum in the UK! I never imagined any of this. However, because of it life has changed for the better and I wouldnt have it any other way...... :D

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Mattson Interview 8/14th June
PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:23 pm 
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Jack, you are truly my inspiration. You always come up with the most amazing stuff. I am lucky to know you :-)

What inspires you, and where do you get your ideas from?

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Mattson Interview 8/14th June
PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:13 pm 
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What inspires you, and where do you get your ideas from?
First of all, thank you Tonya! You are a great artist yourself and a major part of what inspires me. The friends I have gained throughout my time spent in the balloon community have been nothing but pure inspiration. I think as artists we can all agree that anything and everything can be inspiring. I have been inspired by everything from movies and cartoons or a picture to words spoken by someone passing by. The more resources a person aquires, the easier it is to come up with an idea because there is more information to work with. Im a big believer in collecting and using as many resources possible. Enough is never enough.... As you can tell from my portfolio, cartoons are probably the biggest inspiration to me when it comes to the style Im looking for. As for ideas, again, its usually something visual that pops a picture in to my head of what I want a balloon piece to look like. I Google a lot... Many of my most treasured designs came from a challenge or specific request by someone. Last but not least, again, websites like this and BHQ. Sites like these are a wealth of information and I cant thank the people who run them for us enough!!

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Mattson Interview 8/14th June
PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:04 pm 
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Hi Jack and thanks for the very interesting answers so far, I look forward to reading more of your thoughts :D

My question for you is Who would you most like to make a model/sculpture for and why?
What would you make them?

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Mattson Interview 8/14th June
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:02 am 
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Hello Professor T Wist! Thanks for taking the time to visit the interview. My question for you is Who would you most like to make a model/sculpture for and why? What would you make them?This also a good question that has me stumped at the moment. No one person comes to mind. Ive always wanted to introduce a Disney imagineer to the world of balloons and had the opportunity a couple of months ago. If I had to pick a single person to make a balloon creation for Id probably pick the highest hiring position at Disney I could find. Why? Because this person would be able to find a dream twisting position. What would I make? I would make a character of this person with Mickey ears, holding something cute...
Thanks again Professor!
Jack

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