Balloon Chat

Uncategorized Boards => The "Star" Interview => Topic started by: Graham Lee on July 22, 2008, 08:59:57 PM

Title: Colin Myles Interview 1st/7th Sept
Post by: Graham Lee on July 22, 2008, 08:59:57 PM
A good old friend has kindly said yes to being interviewed on the site, Colin runs a shop up in Dundee Scotland and can turn his hand to twisting & decorating, he is comfortable with either. Colin has won numerous awards all over the world at all the major balloon conventions. Colin dosn't go out entertaining & twisting, he mainly works from his workshop coming up with some truly amazing designs & concepts. So the compiled list wont be of much use to us as although he dosn't go out entertaining I think he could as he's a very funny chap, especially after a few beers :)
To View Colin's website; http://www.smileyballoons.com/ (http://www.smileyballoons.com/)
or portfolio; http://colinmyles.balloonhq.com/ (http://colinmyles.balloonhq.com/)

I'm really chuffed that he has agreed to answer questions on our little forum :D

P.S. I feel that I should publicly thank Colin for helping me overcome my dreadfull fear of flying.
Those that know me will tell you how paranoid I was about the whole situation and without his encouragement &
holding my hand I may never have got to experience the wonder & excitement of going to America & China with him.
So Colin, I thank you, it was very much appreciated.
Title: Re: Colin Myles Interview 1st/7th Sept
Post by: Graham Lee on August 25, 2008, 09:51:17 PM
Colin is raring to go next week so if we could get some questions up for him to answer as the normal  list wont be relevent :)
Title: Re: Colin Myles Interview 1st/7th Sept
Post by: Graham Lee on August 31, 2008, 07:20:36 PM
Colin,
I'll go through the set questions & take out the ones that are not relevent to you. So here we go with the first few, if anyone else wants to fire away at Colin with other questions then please do :D

1, What road led you into balloon modelling?

2, when did you get started with balloons?

3, What’s your best twisting experience?

4, What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you during a ballooning/entertaining session?

5, What do you most enjoy about twisting & why?
Title: Re: Colin Myles Interview 1st/7th Sept
Post by: daveandrews on September 01, 2008, 07:48:20 AM
Hello, Colin, nice to meet you.

That's some neat weaving, and the work in your portfolio is simply b***** incredible. I'll get up from the floor and give you a couple of questions.

1. Have you never twisted in public.

2. If not, would you like to, and would it be 'strolling' or an actual, say, birthday party.

3. Which actually came first. The decorating, or the twisting.

Dave



Dave Andrews
Title: Re: Colin Myles Interview 1st/7th Sept
Post by: colin myles on September 01, 2008, 11:16:53 AM
Quote from: "Graham Lee"
Colin,
I'll go through the set questions & take out the ones that are not relevent to you. So here we go with the first few, if anyone else wants to fire away at Colin with other questions then please do :D
First of all can I thank you for asking mr to do this, I think that Graeme has done a wonderful job with the forum in such a short space of time.  Anyway to the fray :D
1, What road led you into balloon modelling?
It was a natural continuance from decor work, people would ask for small sculptures which usaually work better with non round balloon, so I started doing the usual basic twisting from Marvin Hardy book, my dogs are still pretty bad,

2, when did you get started with balloons?
My wife Ray and I started a party shop in the early 90's, with no thought at all of doing balloons, it was purely to sell party goods and fancy dress, but people kept asking for us to inflate balloons

3, What’s your best twisting experience?
Gosh that is a difficult one, the best experiance, there are so many, I have been so lucky over the last few years to
have been involved in a lot of great projects, travel to places I never dreamed I would visit, and also meet a huge amount of very intresting people some of whom I can now call friends.
But probably the most rewarding experiances for me is the ability to make someone happy from something, that is made from my mind and hands


4, What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you during a ballooning/entertaining session?
A wedding job quite a number of years ago, involved making a canopy across the dance floor, which is time consuming but not especially challenging. Anyway I had just finished the canopy when the best man walked in, and said wow that is
great but I did not think we were having balloons at our wedding.
I phoned back to the shop and of course the hotel I should have been in was actually next door. (The scores hotel St Andrews, not the St Andrews hotel on the Scores
I will not bore you with what happened next nor am I particularly proud, but I did transport everthing next door, and even got a thankyou from the bride a couple of weeks later, saying how professional everyting was
but the feeling in my stomach when I realised I was in the wrong place was definately the worst moment for me

5, What do you most enjoy about twisting & why?
That is an easy one simply the joy to everyone ( including me ) that it brings
Title: Re: Colin Myles Interview 1st/7th Sept
Post by: Graham Lee on September 01, 2008, 11:58:01 AM
Colin, some more questions that are suitable for you I think?

8, What’s your favourite thing to make at the moment?

9, What is the most asked for sculpture?

11, Who is your market aimed at?

12, What kind of work do you do mostly - parties? Corporate? Etc

13, What is your favourite/ideal gig to do?

I know you were a good friend of David Grist & worked with him a lot. Do you have a funny moment that you could share with us all about the both of you?
Title: Re: Colin Myles Interview 1st/7th Sept
Post by: colin myles on September 01, 2008, 03:07:58 PM
Quote from: daveandrews
Hello, Colin, nice to meet you.

HI Dave and nice to meet you also, thanks for the questions

That's some neat weaving, and the work in your portfolio is simply b***** incredible. I'll get up from the floor and give you a couple of questions.

1. Have you never twisted in public.
I did once twist in public :oops:  quite a few years ago at our local gala week, I suppose it was ok apart from the howling wind and driving rain ( normal summer weather in Scotland ). To be very honest my basic repetoitre is very limited,
I can probably make anything but usually, I have to look at a picture first, I think like anything practice makes you better

2. If not, would you like to, and would it be 'strolling' or an actual, say, birthday party.

In some ways yes I would like to attempt public twisting, before i did i would have to practice to have 30 or 40 good
simple sculptures to do. I actually have a dream of taking two weeks off. travel to Europe with a few bags of 260q's
and see if I can earn enough to survive, although I would probably take my Visa card just in case  ;)


3. Which actually came first. The decorating, or the twisting.

The decorating was first, millons of weddings and birthday parties, only after about four years of decorating did I start to twist. I suppose the twisting came because people asked for specific sculptures and I had to learn how to work with 260q's to make the sculptures. One of the reasons I think it took so long before I really got into twisting was that I could not
blow a 260q up by mouth (  :oops:  I still cnnot )
Title: Re: Colin Myles Interview 1st/7th Sept
Post by: colin myles on September 01, 2008, 04:07:32 PM
Quote from: "Graham Lee"
Colin, some more questions that are suitable for you I think?

Questions suitable for me   :lol:  

8, What’s your favourite thing to make at the moment?

Difficult one Graham, I suppose the current project is always the favourite, I have to make a tractor for the weekend,but that is one of the best things about the job, I never know what will be asked for next, it could be unusual decor, a sculpture, or even a balloon dress, I must admit i like all aspects of balloon work equally.


9, What is the most asked for sculpture?

Probably at the moment, the sculpture I am doing most is a seven foot thistle ( hoots mon ), I first made it at a competition about three years ago then really very occasionally, but I have made eight in the last few weeks



11, Who is your market aimed at?

Good question Graham, that is something I should think about  :idea:

12, What kind of work do you do mostly - parties? Corporate? Etc

In summer time most of our work is for weddings, ( for my sins, ) still nowadays it is good repeat business. In the winter
time it becomes far more corporate work, it seems most componies have their balls in winter

13, What is your favourite/ideal gig to do?

My favourite gig, I should say one that pays well and is not stressfull to do. but really I prefer a challenge of something that I have not done before, which of course usually involves lots of stress, but ultimately a lot of satisfaction if things go well.
One of my current favourites was the job we did together at the Cafe Royal.


I know you were a good friend of David Grist & worked with him a lot. Do you have a funny moment that you could share with us all about the both of you?

David, the world is certainly a poorer place without him. both his creativaty and his humor.

There a lot of stories, but I will give you one. In America we shared a room with another two people, four people in one
room is never good, but David was never fantastic at being tidy, and neither for that matter were the other two, the room
really was like a bomb site.
One day David and I were on our way to our room going along the corridor, when we saw the maid come out. Without a word we both about turned and went straight back downstairs, not daring to return till after midnight
I will think of other David stories that are printable, and post them later in the week
Title: Re: Colin Myles Interview 1st/7th Sept
Post by: Graham Lee on September 02, 2008, 09:59:04 AM
Hi Colin, a few more questions;

14, What irritates you most at a gig?

15, How do you book yourself?

16, What’s the biggest thing you’ve ever made?

17, What has been your proudest achievement in our wonderful world of twisted latex?

18, What advice would you give to someone starting out, or wanting to increase their business?

19, What road in latex do you see yourself taking in the future

Graham Lee
Title: Re: Colin Myles Interview 1st/7th Sept
Post by: Graham Lee on September 02, 2008, 08:23:39 PM
Colin has asked me to put up some of his pictures for you to see;
Title: Re: Colin Myles Interview 1st/7th Sept
Post by: Danny the Idiot on September 02, 2008, 09:03:41 PM
Hi Colin,

how long did it take to weave the giant dog?



best wishes

Danny
Title: Re: Colin Myles Interview 1st/7th Sept
Post by: daveandrews on September 02, 2008, 10:05:52 PM
I'm off to commit suicide  :o  and I'm going to use Sempertex balloons. As they are longer, slightly, I might not succeed  :lol:

Colin, you really are too much.

Dave



Dave Andrews
Title: Re: Colin Myles Interview 1st/7th Sept
Post by: colin myles on September 02, 2008, 11:39:31 PM
Quote from: Graham Lee
Hi Colin, a few more questions;

14, What irritates you most at a gig?

I really cannot think of anything that irritates me when I decorate, I try to get along with
whichever facility I am working, my usual motto is to keep my head down and only speak
when spoken to.

Okay I do remember about a year ago I got pretty upset with a band ( they thought they
were good which they were not ), I had just about finished setting up and the drummer
said what would you think if I popped all your balloons, I looked at him and asked what he
would think if I smashed up his drum kit, there was pretty much silence after that

15, How do you book yourself?

We do some wedding fairs, but pretty much all our bookings come from word of mouth,
although I have been thinking of trying to work with an agent, especially for work in the
London area, so if anyone has any good contacts ????????   :lol:

16, What’s the biggest thing you’ve ever made?

I am honestly not sure, it probably is the monster truck that David grist and I made for
a competition in America, although the poodle is pretty big as well, thankyou Graham
for posting some pictures onto the forum


17, What has been your proudest achievement in our wonderful world of twisted latex?

Hopefully that day has not come yet

18, What advice would you give to someone starting out, or wanting to increase their business?

To someone just coming into the business I would really reccomend to try and learn as
many techniques as possible, which will give you so many tools to work with in the future.
In just a few years the amount of information availlable has increased hugely, I know I
am pretty sad but everyday I look at pictures on about four websites to try and increase
my knowledge. I also think entertainers should try and learn at least the basics of decorating
a lot of events you are performiing at may be intrested in having some decoration done
beforehand, which is I think a great way to increase income.


19, What road in latex do you see yourself taking in the future

A really good question Graham, this is something I have been asking myself a lot recently
I really do think the world is opening up to balloon art, we were of course both lucky enough
to be invited out to China last year. I think opportunities such as this will become more
frequent, as the public are exposed to good examples of what the balloon world has to
offer.

I have really enjoyed doing this so far, some of the answers have really got me thinking,
so please if anyone has anything they would like to ask, fire away.
I am sure you have some questions Thelma, even if it is just to ask how I manage to
retain my youthfull good looks   ;)
Title: Re: Colin Myles Interview 1st/7th Sept
Post by: colin myles on September 02, 2008, 11:48:19 PM
how long did it take to weave the giant dog?

Hi Danny, the poodle took 20hours to twist, if you say it quickly it does not sound to bad
one of my biggest fears if i ever do line work would be if someone asked me to make a
poodle,  :oops:  I think it would be eh hang on there son this should not take too long

                                                                                  best wishes
                                                                                              Colin
Title: Re: Colin Myles Interview 1st/7th Sept
Post by: colin myles on September 02, 2008, 11:53:57 PM
"]I'm off to commit suicide  :o  and I'm going to use Sempertex balloons. As they are longer, slightly, I might not succeed  :lol:

Hi Dave, thanks, you give me the opportunity to plug Qualatex  :D  :D
Sriously though, I am jealous of the entertainers, I have been doing some teaching recently
and think the principles of entertaining applies to teaching, I am trying to learn this but
find it very difficult. I suppose I am just a dour Scotsman who likes to shut himself off
from the public. In fact one day I might become prime minister   ;)
Title: Re: Colin Myles Interview 1st/7th Sept
Post by: Graham Lee on September 03, 2008, 05:17:15 PM
A few more questions;

20, What is your personal goal when you set off to work? Is it money or to entertain etc?

21, What are your balloon goals for the future?

22, If you could start all over again, would you change anything?

23, How would you like the future of balloon modelling to develop?

24, Who's the most famous person you have made a balloon creation for?
Title: Re: Colin Myles Interview 1st/7th Sept
Post by: colin myles on September 04, 2008, 11:36:49 PM
Hello again :D

20, What is your personal goal when you set off to work? Is it money or to entertain etc?

Money is important when I work, simply because if I did not earn enough to make a living
then I would not be ablr to continue to do something I love
Usually though the money has been sorted out before I leave, so my thought process is
to do as good a job as i possibly can, partly for the client, but mostly to be honest it is
for personal satisfaction. If I get a photo at the end of the day that is a bonus, but I
must admit that my photography skills are not so good, I have lost count of the times
somrthing I thought was good just did not come out well in the photograph, but I think
that is possibly true with a lot of balloon work it is difficult to capture the magic of
real life

21, What are your balloon goals for the future?

My goals for the future are to try and keep improving both technically and artistcally,
and to improve my golf ( sorry not a balloon goal, oh well )

22, If you could start all over again, would you change anything?

I cannot think of anything, possibly to have stsrted twenty years before I did would have
been good

23, How would you like the future of balloon modelling to develop?

I really think that in a few years we could be the next big thing in the publics eyes
I look at the sand sculptures just now possibly not so much in Britain, but in europe and
America, and it is perceived as real art, and alsoreceives very good funding, I certainly
think that balloon modelling has the potential to emulate that.

24, Who's the most famous person you have made a balloon creation for?[/quote]

I did balloons for David Bailey a few years ago for a magazine shoot ( of course I did not
know it was for him, I turned up and met this scruffy guy ( Bailey ) he told me what he
wanted and I pretty much told him he was stupid, as I was doing so the penny dropped as
to who he was. :oops: .
Apart from that I cannot think of anyone famous, there was a big event I did a few years
back where everything was going Ok but I knew I would be working right up to the time
the guests were due in (thanks to last minute additions by the client ), anyway the band
were doing rehersals and they sounded good, but they finished and wandered down to
where I was and tried to engage me in conversation about how wonderful the decorations
were and they had seen nothing like this before, etc. however I was pretty short with
them as I really needed all my time to finish.
Next day I had to pick some things up from the venue and I was chatting to the staff
I said I thought the band sounded pretty good, to whih they replied they should be
they were the drifters  :oops:  I think they were possibly more used to adulation than
some balloon guy blowing them off
Title: Re: Colin Myles Interview 1st/7th Sept
Post by: tombibo on September 05, 2008, 07:13:47 AM
Hi Colin,

I am glad to get a peek in that brain of yours! ;)

If you could ask a question concerning whatever, to whom would you ask what question? (dead or alive)

what do you prefer, chinese food or belgian beer? ;)

what's the biggest innovation in the balloon industry so far for you?

What's the longest time you worked on a deco yet?

If you had to impress somebody with balloons, who would it be and what would you make?

see you very soon, my friend!
Title: Re: Colin Myles Interview 1st/7th Sept
Post by: Graham Lee on September 05, 2008, 09:41:53 AM
These are the last few questions;

25, How do you keep the enthusiasm going & what still excites you about our great world of latex

26, What inspires or is your thought process in coming up with a new design

27, Who would you like to work with dead or alive?

28, What makes you laugh?
Title: Re: Colin Myles Interview 1st/7th Sept
Post by: colin myles on September 05, 2008, 11:06:04 AM
Hi Colin,

I am glad to get a peek in that brain of yours! ;)

Tom your questions are very good, they have certainly made me think

If you could ask a question concerning whatever, to whom would you ask what question? (dead or alive)

I would love to talk to Albert Einstein, just generally would be great, but if I had to ask
just one question I would like to ask his opinion on the current theories of physics
such as string theory and M theory, and what he thinks of the possibility of paralell
universes.

what do you prefer, chinese food or belgian beer? ;)

This made me laugh so much. Much as I love authentic Chinese food  :)  I would have to
say I prefer Belgian beer ( especially when you are buying )

what's the biggest innovation in the balloon industry so far for you?

Wow this is difficult, thee are a lot, but for me personally the use of coatings to make
balloons shine for longer ( balloon shine or tyre shine ) help my business more than anything
as I hate seeing balloons a few days old that have oxidised badly I think this puts the whole
industry in a bad light. I believe that some of the major manufacturers are looking into
ways of treating balloons at the manufacture stage. I think this would help everyone
enormously.


What's the longest time you worked on a deco yet?

Last year with the help of Graham, David Croft and Patrick Van De Ven I did a decor job that
took four days to set up, it was a lot of work but also a lot of fun, and a great deal of
satisfaction to do the job successfully.

If you had to impress somebody with balloons, who would it be and what would you make?

I must let you into a secret, I am very selfish, when I make a sculpture I always do the
sculpture for me  !! if the client is happy then that is good, but the sculpture is for me
What would I make, that is something I work on all the time, I get frustrated by the
restrictions of my technical abilities and also my artistic visualisation, hopefully before
I get too old I can do something that I am truly proud of

Thank you for these very good questions and I look forwrd to chatting over a good Belgian
beer very soon
Title: Re: Colin Myles Interview 1st/7th Sept
Post by: colin myles on September 05, 2008, 10:26:51 PM
Quote from: "Graham Lee"
These are the last few questions;

25, How do you keep the enthusiasm going & what still excites you about our great world of latex

My enthusianm for balloons is easy to maintain, I just think back to the twenty five years
I spent delivering milk, getting up at crazy hours in all sorts of weather, making balloons
seems to me a pretty good alternative  :D
What still excites me is that balloon art is still in its infancy, who knows how the industry
is going to grow in the next ten years, I would really like though to be in the middle of
that growth

26, What inspires or is your thought process in coming up with a new design

All sorts of different ways, sometimes if I misinterperet something I see I can see something
quite different, it can come from a client request, sometimes I can just be playing with
balloons, make something pretty ordinary but turn it upside down and there is quite
different there, I would then try and develop that

27, Who would you like to work with dead or alive?
David  (Grist) just once more,
Michael Gjerek,  who I think is the best balloon artist in the world

28, What makes you laugh?

You ask a dour Scot what makes him laugh  :D  I don't know lots of things, probably ironic
things. I remember in China last year we had a delegation of clowns with us ( honestly )
one night they held their AGM in the bar of the hotel, and they all arrived in shirt and tie
looking very serious. Now that amused me already, but one of our team decided that
guerilla raids with 260qs into their meeting would be fun, it would be fair to say that
the clowns did not see the humour, I do not think that I have ever laughed so much
as I did that night.
Title: Re: Colin Myles Interview 1st/7th Sept
Post by: Graham Lee on September 05, 2008, 10:43:28 PM
Colin,
I remember that very well, it was very funny especially the way the room was set up so that the speakers didn't have to make eye contact with the balloon twisters? A very fun night indeed, although at diamond jam the evening with sister Mary was equally as fun, particulaly when Guido nearly lost his money to a young kid at the coin fountain.
These memories live in the old memory banks forever.

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions for everyone, appreciated :D