Author Topic: Sue Bowler Interview 11/17th Feb  (Read 8567 times)

Graham Lee

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Sue Bowler Interview 11/17th Feb
« on: January 04, 2013, 06:39:33 PM »
Sue has agreed to be interviewed, we may need to find a few extra questions as Sue comes from a decorating background so I think she is very knowledgeable
when it comes to emulsion and wallpaper, oh ROFL  :)  :D
So if you have a few questions please post away, I expect Sue will do the interview early Feb as we have the Antonio interview at the moment.

This is Sue's website but it may be the old one? Will double check, http://www.suebowler.com/
Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/SueBowlerCBA
Also found a YouTube clip as well, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkcfcAq_dD8
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SoniaPayne

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Sue Bowler Interview (Soon)
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2013, 03:53:12 PM »
Really looking forward to this :)
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Graham Lee

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Re: Sue Bowler Interview (Soon)
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2013, 12:01:03 AM »
This may go to a different facebook page? https://www.facebook.com/SueBowlerBalloonArtist
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Graham Lee

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Re: Sue Bowler Interview 11/17th Feb
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2013, 05:55:23 PM »
Sue will be doing the interview from Monday 11th till Sunday 17th Feb, please post a few questions for her to answer.
It's not often you get the change to question some of the top peple within the balloon community.
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Graham Lee

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Re: Sue Bowler Interview 11/17th Feb
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2013, 06:49:30 PM »
Sue is all ready for the interview next week, it would be good to get some more questions for her, you can also ask about Conwin equipment as John is the top man in the UK for them.

My Question, what moment in time or spark started you off in the world of latex, was there one specific moment or a gradual build up?
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suebowler

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Re: Sue Bowler Interview 11/17th Feb
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2013, 10:03:03 AM »
Firstly thank you for inviting me to take part in this “Star’ interview, what a great honour to be asked, especially as I would be considered a ‘Stacker’ rather than a ‘Twister’, although the first time I heard 'that' expression I had no idea what it mean’t :)
 Today I consider myself to be a ‘balloon artist’ as I work with all types of balloons!

So here it goes, please feel free to ask me any questions along the way!

1. What led me to balloons?
 I was looking to start a business that I could do based from home and around my young daughter and maybe something a little bit on the creative side?
After several months of looking through various trade magazines, I came across a very small advert that asked “have you ever heard a balloon talk”? And that was it really! That one line opened a huge door and with the help of the advertiser... a very young George Oustayiannis of GO International, my balloon business ‘Gasbags’ was born!
But I am going to be totally honest, I was very much a beginner for the first 4 years, looking at pictures and IMAGES magazine... that was a huge source of inspiration and still is today!

2. When did you get started with balloons?

I actually set up my balloon business 2 weeks before Valentines Day 1990, selling balloons in boxes and balloon bouquets and oh boy did I learn so much so quickly... or should I really say that I learned through trail and error... mostly error!!
Like how the helium in balloons reacts to the cold when it is taken outside!

I had prepared all my balloons in my lovely warm house for delivery early on Valentines Day morning, they looked beautiful, all lined up in my hallway, it was such a proud moment... my first ever deliveries! Then it happened.. I took them outside (with frost on the ground) they all started to collapse... deflate!! Not knowing anything about helium, I ran back inside and topped them all up as much as I could and tried again! The end result being that as I started delivering them into nice warm offices that they started to ‘pop’!! I huge learning curve for my first day working with balloons, one that I will never forget!

3. What was my best twisting experience?
My FIRST twisting experience was when I attended a Qualatex Balloon Symposium in Paris 1996. Along with many other decor classes I also signed up for 3 twisting classes with the lovely Marvin Hardy! Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced... who was I trying to kid!
I just about held it together for the beginners class but the other classes were way out of my comfort zone, and if I am honest, I think it put me off twisting for a few years, although I did try out some of my new found twisting skills with my mate Rosemary on the way home from the convention! We had just missed our ferry crossing back to the UK and had a few hours to spare, so we started to practice the art of ‘twisting’ in my very small Mini... it was hilarious, we popped just about every balloon we inflated, the car steamed up and we were laughing so loud, goodness only knows what the other people thought we were up too!

My best twisting experience was probably the day that it clicked, and a pinch twist looks like a pinch twist and I was finally being to get the hang of it!

colin myles

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Re: Sue Bowler Interview 11/17th Feb
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2013, 10:41:35 AM »
Hi Sue,
I have been looking forward to this interview, great answers so far.
So if it is okay I will ask a question.
'What is your favourite memory of your balloon carreer to date'
I know that is a really difficult question  :D  :D
                        looking forward to the rest of the interview
                                                              Colin
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suebowler

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Re: Sue Bowler Interview 11/17th Feb
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2013, 11:52:41 AM »
'What is your favourite memory of your balloon career to date'

Now this is a very hard question to answer as I have many special memories and working out which is my favourite will be very hard! So, I may cheat a little and give a couple of answers!

Probably one of my first very special memories was attending my very first IBAC! IBAC 13 in 1997. My first ever balloon convention was in 1996 when I went to the Qualatex Balloon Symposium in Paris, and that was awesome! I made friends at that convention who I am still very much friends with today, but traveling just one year later to Chicago was huge! Like Paris, I had made a decision, that if I was to travel such a long way and invest my money in attending such a great event, I should try and get as many experiences out of it and that included entering the competitions!
"In Those Days", our only inspiration came from IMAGES Magazine... there was no internet (or I did not have it), no Facebook and the wealth of designs that are posted each and every day! I cannot tell you how many times I studied my pile of Images magazines, trying to work out what I should 'attempt' to make for my competitions!
So I turned up on the morning of the large sculpture competition, the room was vast, the space I had to build my large sculpture was enormous! I had a tiny little tool box, with a few essential items, around me I was surrounded by teams with trolly upon trolly of tools, rods, SDS panels, you name it, they had it!!
But none of that mattered, once we started working everyone was amazing, the camaraderie was incredible and even 27 hours later without any sleep, we were all still smiling.. I think (rose tinted glasses)??
My sculpture was pretty awful, but I was happy! I had made a green alien from un-inflated Geo Blossoms... I was a huge learning curve!
I also entered the centrepiece and the buffet arrangement competitions too... now, my buffet design was disqualified :( I found out that the American flag I had used within my design was deemed to be inappropriately used (I had draped it within my design), I suppose I should have checked out stuff like this... BUT my centrepiece was attracting a lot of attention! I could see people looking at it, trying to work out how I had made it! Christopher Horne thought that Pat & Jim Skitsimas had made it... I was smiling inwardly, as no one knew it was mine!
Final Night and the decor was awesome 'The Golden Age of Greece'! I had helped to make some of the decor and it was beautiful and elegant... and then they started to announce the competition winners, I cannot tell you how it felt when they started to announce the winners of the centrepiece category, in 3rd place... in 2nd place... and then it happened... in 1st place... ME!!  That memory has never left me, I was such a newcomer! Winning that competition opened many doors for me and eventually lead me into the world of teaching!

Oh, this is so hard... the memories are flooding in!

Having the opportunity to spend some very special time with the lovely Linda Bruce!
I had known Linda for many years, we worked at many events together, but we had never really had the opportunity to get to know each other very well, but that all changed at a Ballooniversity Event some years ago, where we became great buddies. For the next few years we traveled to so many wonderful places together including a tour of Australia and Japan! I have so many funny stories and wonderful memories working with Linda, I truly miss her, but there are days when I think she is still playing her little tricks on me... :)

I suppose I can add to this, when I was awarded the "Golden Light' Award in Linda's memory at the World Balloon Convention in Dallas 2012, this was a huge surprise and an incredible honour!

lowemagic

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Re: Sue Bowler Interview 11/17th Feb
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2013, 04:32:02 PM »
Hi, Sue.
When making a column around a pole, and using 4 260Qs to spiral around the pole, I think I recall Luc Bertrand saying, after you put on a collar of 5" rounds, you should continue the spiral with 4 more 260Qs but spiral them in the reverse direction.
Have I remembered correctly, or has old age affected my memory?
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suebowler

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Re: Sue Bowler Interview 11/17th Feb
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2013, 05:37:43 PM »
Hi Ian!
I would say it would depend what effect or look you want? Yes, you can add a 5" cluster and then reverse spiral, or you can add your next 4 x 260Q's at the point where the first are finishing off, twist them all together and then continue to spiral in the same direction to give a continuous spiral. You will need to 'finish off' the first set, in the usual way, I then add in my little 5"cluster afterwards to hide my mechanics, but this gives a really neat finish to do it this way... I hope that this makes sense?

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Re: Sue Bowler Interview 11/17th Feb
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2013, 08:21:38 PM »
Thanks, Sue.
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suebowler

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Re: Sue Bowler Interview 11/17th Feb
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2013, 09:51:38 AM »
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

colin myles

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Re: Sue Bowler Interview 11/17th Feb
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2013, 10:22:14 AM »
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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Re: Sue Bowler Interview 11/17th Feb
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2013, 05:31:13 PM »
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!

Danny the Idiot

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Re: Sue Bowler Interview 11/17th Feb
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2013, 08:25:10 PM »
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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