Author Topic: Just Marie interview 20/26th April  (Read 6251 times)

Graham Lee

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Just Marie interview 20/26th April
« on: March 31, 2009, 06:42:22 PM »
Just Marie is the next volunteer into the firing line  
Some of Marie's work can be found on her portfolio page; http://justmarie.balloonhq.com/

and website; http://www.balloonartbymarie.com/

I've known Marie a little while now and she is passionate about our art and a bit of a laugh at the same time  :D
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Graham Lee

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Re: Just Marie interview 20/26th April
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2009, 09:34:04 AM »
Just to remind everyone that Marie is up for the interview from tomorrow and I know she's been looking forward to all your questions as we do talk on skype now and again.

So Marie, your sitting at home or wherever and all of a sudden an idea/design pops into your head. What is your thought process from idea/design to having a finished sculpture that your happy with?
Do you end up with a few prototypes?
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justmarie

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Re: Just Marie interview 20/26th April
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2009, 10:05:08 PM »
I'm sorry, Graham, the kids were off of school yesterday and I didn't get a chance to answer your questions.  Then, being an American, I didn't pay attention to where the questions were and got all confused...  

So, now that I'm all straightened out, let's give this a shot:

1, What road led you into balloon modelling?
     I took Glassell south and made a left just before McFadden.

2, When did you get started with balloons?
     My grandparents took me to a parade when I was five and bought me a twisted dog - I took it apart and cried.

3, What’s your best twisting experience?
     The first time one didn't pop.

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

5, What do you most enjoy about twisting & why?
     The huge paycheck at the end, for obvious reasons.

Oh, wait...  You didn't seriously expect me to do this without being incredibly sarcastic right off the bat, did you?!   Come on now, Graham, you know me WAAAY better than that!

If you don't mind, may I please take a slightly different approach to this just for a moment?  I'll answer a few of your questions by telling you a bit about myself.  I'm DEFINITELY not your typical balloon twister.  Sometimes I'm far too outspoken for my own good.  I very rarely do line work.  In fact, I very rarely work at all.  

I began twisting to entertain my own children just about 6 years ago now.  I figured I could make a little money on the side with my new found skill/obsession/passion.  Within months of purchasing my first videos, I was attending conventions and jams and winning competitions.    I was lucky enough to live in Southern California near some of the best balloon twisters in the States.  I learned so much from them.

Also, by being a member of Balloon HQ, I was able to share my designs and ideas with other artists all over.  I gained quite a bit of popularity for the quality of my pictures.  Over the next few years, I released 3 DVDs on balloon sculpting.

In Jan, '06 a local magazine featured a balloon dress I co-created on it's cover.  I've created dresses for two television shows and a few corporate events.  I have several things planned for my designs.  Balloon fashions will always be my passion.  I have a new design I created just for you...  (as soon as I find my cable  ;)  )
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Graham Lee

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Re: Just Marie interview 20/26th April
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2009, 10:13:15 PM »
a good funny start, made me laugh :lol:
When you find your cable it would be nice to see some of the designs that went into the magazine etc
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Simply Shonna

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Re: Just Marie interview 20/26th April
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2009, 11:34:29 PM »
Marie,
You mentioned that you were on two tv programs.   What ones were they?  Did anyone assist you with these projects?  Do you have any pictures of the events?
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justmarie

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Re: Just Marie interview 20/26th April
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2009, 11:53:25 PM »
Shonna,
The TV programs in question were:  Univision's Sabado Gigante (Big Saturday) and Disney Channel's Wizards of Waverly Place.

I actually appeared on Sabado Gigante along with three balloon dresses.  I wouldn't say anyone really "assisted" me.  There were a few other balloon artists that made a few sculptures and may have blown up some balloons and even twisted a bit of the dresses...  But, I TOTALLY could have done it myself if I'd have wanted to!!!  ;)

The dress for Wizards was worn by the real life girlfriend of the star.  Originally when the head of the wardrobe department contacted me, she didn't know if the show would be able to meet my budget.  Ironically, by the end of shooting, not only did they meet it, but they offered me more than our original agreement.
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Simply Shonna

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Re: Just Marie interview 20/26th April
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2009, 12:00:23 AM »
Do you remember the name of the balloon artists who helped you on the show for Univision?   Were you just giving them a chance to "break into" the balloon industry, or were they already known by the community?

I hear the color of the dress used for Wizard's of Waverly Place is in big demand right now.  What color was it exactly?

What brand of balloons do you use, or do you prefer not to let out your trade secrets?
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justmarie

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Re: Just Marie interview 20/26th April
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2009, 12:02:50 AM »
« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 05:25:29 PM by justmarie »

Simply Shonna

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Re: Just Marie interview 20/26th April
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2009, 12:14:48 AM »
The dress for Wizard's of Waverly Place has drawn a lot of attention from some of my regular clients.   I like to brag that I know the artist who made it.

What was it like being on a TV set with Cindy Crawford and all of the others?  

How many times has the episode with your dress aired now?   I know it was just on again because people told me they saw it?

Will you remember me when you are Rich and Famous and making balloon dresses for the stars?
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justmarie

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Re: Just Marie interview 20/26th April
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2009, 12:22:53 AM »
Their names?  I don't really think that's relevant.  The mother was lovely, but the son was just a mediocre balloon artist at best...  ;)

I use predominantly Betallic (Sempertex) balloons.  I absolutely LOVE their color selection, especially their 160s.  When making dresses, it's imperative to have a wide variety of size and colors.  I prefer to use metallics and pearls as they are stronger and give a better look to the fashion.

The colors I used in for Wizards dress are Key Lime and Metallic Fuchsia.  The flowers on the front of the dress are made with an uninflated balloon technique to mimic peonies.
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justmarie

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Re: Just Marie interview 20/26th April
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2009, 04:54:36 PM »
Obviously Shonna and her family appeared on Sabado Gigante with me.  We had an amazing time.  It was only my second experience making dresses that actually had to fit on models.  Shonna had just returned from the now famous China festival.  We were to make three dresses and had three days to do it.  We created the dresses in what was normally the star of the show's lounge.  While we were working, several cast members would drop in and wonder what we were doing and why.  When we explained that the balloon dresses were to appear on their show they were just amazed.  The dresses, as well as the sculptures and hats, were a huge hit with the live audience.

I have since made over 50 dresses in a variety of styles.
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Danny the Idiot

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Re: Just Marie interview 20/26th April
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2009, 10:27:20 PM »
Hi Just Marie,

I'm an entertainer and twister and can really appreciate the skill, patience and talent that goes into making balloon dresses. At the moment is it not for me. (Plus my weaving skills are terrible!).

My question is this, what attracts and inspires YOU to balloon dress design?

best wishes
Danny the Idiot
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justmarie

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Re: Just Marie interview 20/26th April
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2009, 11:33:12 PM »
I search fabric dresses on the internet.  I find prom, evening, cocktail, even club dresses and try to emulate those designs and styles.  Being able to visualize the flow of the fabric makes shaping the "garment" easier.  Very few of my designs are "truly original".    I've started a series of designer dresses including Pucci, Burberry -that I've completed - with Betsey Johnson, Anna Sui, Oleg Cassini and others to follow.

                       

As for your weaving skills...  the only way to improve them is to practice, practice, practice!  Go for consistency.
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justmarie

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Re: Just Marie interview 20/26th April
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2009, 05:09:39 PM »
What irritates you most at a gig?
     Here's where my outspokenness comes into play.  Nothing bothers me more than rude parents.  I can't stand it when the parents stand behind the children and say, "Tell her what you want."  Wouldn't it be much nicer to say, "Ask her for..." or "Why don't you request..."  I know it's just a question of semantics, but why not teach the children manners and to be polite?

How do you book yourself?
     Because for the most part I'm a hobbyist, most of my bookings come from my website.  I've gone to great lengths to make sure that my site contains all the right keywords and text to rank me very high on the search engines.  That may sound a bit hypocritical, but I take pride in my work/art and want it represented well.

What has been your proudest achievement in our wonderful world of twisted latex?
    Probably when my balloon dress finally appeared on The Disney Channel.  The first time I saw the preview for the episode I was so excited. It takes months from the filming to the actual air date.  I was pretty amazing seeing the final product.

What advice would you give to someone starting out, or wanting to increase their business?
     Listen to all the advice you get, but choose only what works for you.  One minute someone will state adamantly that THIS is the only way you should do something.  Then, not two minutes later, someone else will say THAT should never be done.  I was once at a jam where a balloon twister stated that to be really good you have to use the entire balloon.  I didn't understand this logic AT ALL!  But, to them, it was fact.
     As for increasing their business...  Create a really good business card and hand them out generously.  An easy to navigate website is imperative.  Be seen!  In the states, restaurant twisting is very popular for getting exposure.  The more people that see you, the more likely you'll be booked.
     Let people know how good you are.  There is a book called, Brag, The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It, I recommend it to EVERYONE.  It teaches you how to acknowledge your accolades to others - something most of us have been raised not to do.  Be proud of your accomplishments - there's no shame in that!
« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 05:24:21 PM by justmarie »

justmarie

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Re: Just Marie interview 20/26th April
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2009, 03:25:07 AM »
Hey Graham,
Guess what...  I found my camera!  Imagine, it was right where I left it!  ;)



This one was very loosely based on an actual dress. I took quite a few liberties.  I pick out elements I want to replicate - in this case, the polka dots.  It's debuting here...  Yeah, you're all special!
« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 10:52:58 PM by justmarie »