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 Post subject: Re: Sue Bowler Interview 11/17th Feb
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:21 pm 
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Thanks, Sue.

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 Post subject: Re: Sue Bowler Interview 11/17th Feb
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:51 am 
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4. What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you during a ballooning/entertaining session?
I don’t think anyone believes me, but I get extremely nervous every time I teach a class, the first 5 minutes are awful, my mouth goes dry, I feel sick, but it gradually goes away as I settle into my ‘patter’!
However, the first time I taught in Mexico City, I had a very strange experience! I started to teach my first class, I inflated a foil balloon with helium and added it to the design that I was creating, and then it happened... the balloon did not float! So, being the ‘professional’ that I am, I mumbled something about it being a ‘poorly’ balloon and put the design to one side! I then set about creating my next ‘amazing’ creation using the Pirate Ship foil balloon, I filled this with helium and added it to my design... the balloon instantly flipped over giving a ‘sinking’ appearance... the look of panic across my face must have said it all, at which point my translator and very good friend Alex Arroyo piped up “Oh, I forget to mention, that we have a huge problem in Mexico City as we are at a very high altitude and not so many foils float here”! Just the sort of information that would have been good to know in advance of my trip! It certainly added a humorous element to each of my classes as it was too late to change my designs, and even if the balloons did float the lift was not fantastic and as the rooms were fully air conditioned the balloons mostly floated horizontally!

5. What do you most enjoy about twisting & why?

Learning to twist has brought a whole new dimension to my designs and designing. I can add detail and added touches to my designs. My skill level in twisting is still pretty basic and I truly want to learn so much more. I am in awe of those who are competent in both area of balloon art!

6. What's your favourite age to entertain?

7. Do you have the same act but vary the presentation for all ages or do you have set acts for different ages?

8. What’s your favourite thing to make at the moment?
Centrepiece/ arrangements and small characters! I worked for Conwin for 8 years up until 2010 and all my classes were designed around Conwin equipment, so large decor and balloon walls where the norm!
So, in the past few years I have rekindled my love of fantasy flowers and lovely elegant wedding designs! I currently teach Wedding Design Classes for Qualatex called The Complete Wedding Series 1 & 2, these classes show how to decorate different area's of a wedding, using some very different ideas and techniques, plus how to cost and sell the designs too! I also think that it is important that we understand trends and colours, to enable us to offer our clients the very best advice when planning their big day! If anyone is interested in these courses they are bookable through http://www.thequalatexevent.com

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 Post subject: Re: Sue Bowler Interview 11/17th Feb
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:22 am 
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Hi Sue Thanks for the great answer to my question, I knew it wold not be an easy one. I know your
DVD (Balloon Decor 1) has been very well received by the balloon community, do you have plans for
a new one. ?


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 Post subject: Re: Sue Bowler Interview 11/17th Feb
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:31 pm 
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Thank you Colin - Making my first 'home grown' DVD, was a great experience. I have worked on DVD's before, but they were part of a bigger program and with other artists - we made the Qualatex/ Conwin Master Series some years ago, which was a great program!

Balloon Decor 1 was all my own work, the concept and designs and I enjoyed the whole process very much! I spent a long time deciding what incorporate into the DVD... I think I could have gone on for hours and hours! Even now the DVD is 155 minutes! I wanted to appeal to all levels of abilities from beginners through to more experienced balloon artists who are looking for idea's, new techniques and a bit of inspiration!

Yes, I would love to make another DVD, maybe later this year, who know? In my next DVD I want to concentrate on smaller designs, Balloon Decor 1 has some pretty big projects! I have many new ideas plus I think I would like to incorporate some of my signature designs too like the 'Baby' and Bride & Groom, but maybe an updated version of both?

Any idea's and suggestions for my next DVD would be great!

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 Post subject: Re: Sue Bowler Interview 11/17th Feb
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:25 pm 
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Location: London, UK
Hi Sue,

thanks for answering these questions and being a star!

I have a some questions...

1) Which do you prefer foils, latex or bubbles (and why)?
2) With the latex balloons what is your favourite colour? And shape/size? to use.
3) How do you see the future of "stackers" and twisters, with regard to helium resources diminishing?

I'll stop there!

best wishes
Danny :)

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 Post subject: Re: Sue Bowler Interview 11/17th Feb
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:20 am 
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Hi Danny

Thank you for your questions...

1) Which do you prefer foils, latex or bubbles (and why)?
Each of these balloons are very important to a me. I'll start with the Qualatex Deco Bubbles. This is a relatively new balloon in the scheme of things, and I believe that if I was still decorating today it would be essential to my business! Gone are the days of messy/tricky hi-floated double-bubbles (which if I am honest, I would avoid at all costs, I just seem to get them stuck together). Bubble balloons are very long lasting so they can be prepared early - days early in fact, which has to be a blessing during very busy periods! Add tulle or organza to your designs and it will float for days even weeks! They look crystal clear and sparkle, I love them!
Foil balloons for me are a source of inspiration, it is often the foil balloon that stimulates my designs or decor. To make anything look good you need to follow rules, 'the elements and principles of design'... colour, line, shape, unity & harmony to name a few! Using the design/ colours and shapes within a foil balloon can help start the thought process of how I want my decor to look and how I am going to make everything work together to create a 'oneness'. I'll give an example of how this works and to explain myself a little better :) Let's say I was creating wedding decor and my 'inspiration' is being taken from the Qualatex Just Married Ivory & Gold Microfoil. Firstly, I look at the balloon and see what's there: The colours are Gold, Ivory, White and a hint of Silver, the shape is a heart shape and it has two distinctive "Qualatex' themes within the design... 'Elegant Roses' and 'Love Doves'! So, now it's easy, I select some, not all of these elements and I use them to create my design, that way I always create a design is visually very pleasing and it looks right, however, if I stick in a bunch of balloon that does not feature any of these elements, it would look odd and stand out for that very reason! If you look at many of my designs. you will see this system... the Mother's Day design I created for the Spring Fair is a great example of this!
Finally, latex! I left this one until last, as this balloon is the one that add's the 'art' to balloon art! With so many shapes and colours to work with it's like having the biggest paint palette and all that is needed is the artists creativity to turn it into anything... an amazing balloon sculpture, a baby, bride... as I said, it's down to the artists creativity, and there are some truly amazing balloon artists out there!
2) With the latex balloons what is your favourite colour? And shape/size? to use.
Probably the 5", I use a lot of 5" balloons! They are perfect when making a centrepiece, small characters... even fantasy flowers! My favourite colour at the moment is Wildberry but I am loving the new Caribbean Blue, which I saw at the Spring fair!
3) How do you see the future of "stackers" and twisters, with regard to helium resources diminishing?
Helium supplies are a major concern, but I was somewhat heartened by a report instigated by the Balloon Council USA, which has been featured in the BAPIA New Spring 2013 and is available to download http://www.bapiaonline.com. The report suggests that the current helium shortage is the result of several 'perfect storm' events happening at once, it also suggests that supplies will improve this year and that the world is not running out of helium! I am no scientist, but it sounds like good news to me! That being said, I also believe that maybe this is a good time and opportunity to offer different decor ideas to our customers, using more air-filled designs! To be honest, most of the designs that I create these days are air-filled, with just a few helium filled balloons... but equally I appreciate that 11" balloons on a ribbon is many balloon decorators bread and butter! I think there are those business's who will survive whatever happens, because they are determined and willing to change, yes, it's going to take a while to re-educate the public that there are alternatives to a helium filled 11" but I think once they see what can be done they will be very happy. I spoke to a number of people regarding this at Spring Fair this year and one of the main comments that I heard was that so many venue's these days do not allow helium balloons anyway, so this is nothing new! I truly hope that all balloon business's 'weather the storm' and find good alternative ideas to offer! Qualatex have produced a great booklet called Air-Filled Advantage, it can be downloaded from their website http://www.Qualatex.com or picked up at a Qualatex Distributor.

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 Post subject: Re: Sue Bowler Interview 11/17th Feb
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:12 am 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
9.What is the most asked for model? I have changed this to what is the most requested balloon design?
I have not ‘sold’ a balloon design for a very long time as I have either been working for Conwin or as a Freelance Instructor, but when I teach I am regularly asked to show how to make my tabletop Bride & Groom! I think that it is still probably one of the most popular designs that I have taught over the years, I see featured on people's websites all over the world!

10. What do you tend to do more of if stuck in the 'balloon production line' model?

11. Who is your market aimed at?
I mainly teach decorators, although I have noticed that more Twisters are learning how to decorate too, which I think is great! I really love teaching wedding decor but not the ‘usual’ wedding decor taught. In the Wedding Series courses, I have included many twisted elements into my designs and I have created a very elegant wedding portfolio for the delegates, which they take away with them after the class, it includes some great photographs as it’s good quality pictures that everyone needs. I also make sure that everyone can re-create all the designs to a high standard too! If you want to know more about this course you can visit http://www.thequalatexevent.com/section/6/1/uk_qualatex_balloon_training_weddings

12. What kind of work do you do mostly - parties? Corporate? Etc
Last year I was approached by a corporate client to create a ‘Balloon Cloud’, and as I mentioned earlier I have not ‘sold’ balloons for a long time, but it was an amazing challenge and I really enjoyed the whole process from conception to completion!
Here is a link to the Very Best Balloon Blog, where I wrote about the 'Balloon Cloud Installation'! http://theverybestballoonblog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/balloon-cloud-installation-from.html

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Sue Bowler
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 Post subject: Re: Sue Bowler Interview 11/17th Feb
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:33 pm 
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Happy Valentines Day everyone! I hope that you are having a busy day! This must be my "Ballooning" Anniversary as I started my balloon business 2 weeks before Valentines Day... so I am now entering my 23rd year of working with balloons... oh my!!

Here are some more answers to questions that you have asked :)


13. What is your favourite /ideal gig to do?
I enjoy teaching at conventions when you have a little bit of extra time to catch-up with friends. I loved the Millennium Jam and the informality and fun atmosphere, I hope it comes back one day!

14. What irritates you most?

People who cut and paste pictures from Facebook and claim them to be their own work rather than crediting the original artist :(
People who fall asleep whilst your teaching! Sounds terrible really, but at balloon convention people have the habit of not going to bed or getting very little sleep, so when they come to a class and the room gets all snuggly and warm they fall asleep! I think it worse the first time it happens but they usually apologise afterwards! - I suppose they could be bored!!
People who talk on their phones when your teaching... people who pull your work apart to work out how was made rather than ask you... this list could go on and on, but I should stop now :)

15. How do you book yourself?
People can contact me through my website http://www.suebowler.com - now that I have fixed the link! Thanks Graham for pointing that out to me!!

16. What’s the biggest thing you’ve ever made?
The biggest thing that I have designed and made is the ‘Tiffany Lamp’ sculpture I made at BACI 2012, It was a complete labour of love as sculptures have always been my nemesis, I have had a love hate relationship with them! It took many months of planning and there was a lot of maths involved to ensure that the scale and proportion was correct, which is certainly not my strong point, but on the whole, I was very happy with the outcome! However, the biggest project that I have been involved with is building a replica of the Titanic with Fiona & Rodney Fisher, but all I had to do was add approx. 7000 balloons to the frame, Fiona and Rodney did all the hard work designing the sculpture and making the frame! I consider Rodney Fisher to be one of the best 'framers' in the industry!

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 Post subject: Re: Sue Bowler Interview 11/17th Feb
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:32 pm 
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14. What irritates you most?

People who cut and paste pictures from Facebook and claim them to be their own work rather than crediting the original artist :(
People who fall asleep whilst your teaching! Sounds terrible really, but at balloon convention people have the habit of not going to bed or getting very little sleep, so when they come to a class and the room gets all snuggly and warm they fall asleep! I think it worse the first time it happens but they usually apologise afterwards! - I suppose they could be bored!!
People who talk on their phones when your teaching... people who pull your work apart to work out how was made rather than ask you... this list could go on and on, but I should stop now :)

Sue can you go on and on then :) :D

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 Post subject: Re: Sue Bowler Interview 11/17th Feb
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:16 pm 
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What are you saying Mr Lee... ;)

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