Author Topic: Tonya McNeill Interview 23rd Fed/1st March  (Read 6202 times)

Graham Lee

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Tonya McNeill Interview 23rd Fed/1st March
« on: February 12, 2009, 11:01:28 AM »
I was looking forward to meeting Tonya and would have taken her private class at twist & shout but it clashed with the buster balloon show class that Don run. But I did manage to get hold of her CD which I just know will be great even before I look at it due to the quality of Tonya's pieces that she was making at the convention.
So if you have any questions for Tonya then please just fire away.

The website is;
http://www.twistedcrittersnmore.com/

but the link to her portfolio is not working from the website but you can view it through this link;
http://twistedcrittersnmore.balloonhq.com/

looks like there may be a technical problem at the moment with Tonya's portfolio, have emailed het to let her know
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Tonya

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Re: Tonya McNeill Interview 23rd Fed/1st March
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2009, 02:10:39 PM »
Thanks Graham, I appreciate your letting me know it was down.
I don't know what happened, but it is now viewable again. It was great to finally meet you at Twist & Shout  :) I'm looking forward to the interview!
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Tonya

bigdaddy_192

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Re: Tonya McNeill Interview 23rd Fed/1st March
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2009, 11:30:35 AM »
Tonya can you please tell us about your new cd of pdfs and can you put some pictures whats on your new cd in the forum & is this your new cd your frist one you have made I am looking forward to see your pictures on your new cd thanks happy twisting Peter... :D
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Tonya

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Re: Tonya McNeill Interview 23rd Fed/1st March
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2009, 04:00:43 AM »
Hi Peter,

Thanks for asking me about the CD.  Yes, this is my first one that I've made, but I hope to have more soon  ;)  :)
Here are three pictures out of the 10 designs on the CD.
[attachment=0:3ahr4pv8]horse-hat.jpg[/attachment:3ahr4pv8][attachment=1:3ahr4pv8]giraffe-hat.jpg[/attachment:3ahr4pv8][attachment=2:3ahr4pv8]elephat-hat.jpg[/attachment:3ahr4pv8]

There is also a puppy hat, tiger hat, beaver hat, bunny hat, teddy bear hat, cutie kitty hat, and cow hat, along with other photos and ideas for using this hat. There is also pics in my BHQ portfolio of these hats for ideas. (pages 14 & 15 I think). I also have instructions for a monkey hat that didn't make it on the CD, but I will email it to those that have purchased it.  
I'm very excited about these hats ~ they have been a lot of fun for me to make, and are relatively quick (some are quicker than others).
The thing I like best about them are the versitility.
Anyways, I hope you like them and if you have any other questions, please let me know.
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Tonya

Smiggle

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Re: Tonya McNeill Interview 23rd Fed/1st March
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2009, 10:04:43 AM »
They look really nice - I can't order one just now.. .the wife's looking  :D  :D  :D  :roll:
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Martin

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Re: Tonya McNeill Interview 23rd Fed/1st March
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2009, 12:25:22 AM »
Where can you order your CD Tonya?
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Dillingerentertains

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Re: Tonya McNeill Interview 23rd Fed/1st March
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2009, 01:46:50 AM »
brill they have got the WOW factor more details please

                               DENNIS
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Tonya

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Re: Tonya McNeill Interview 23rd Fed/1st March
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2009, 10:06:36 PM »
I am selling the CD for $15.00 if you would like it emailed to you, or $18.00 if shipped in the United States (not sure how much shipping is overseas).  It is in PDF format.
You can purchase it using paypal (email:tmcne@hotmail.com) or if you prefer to use a credit card, call me @ 970-252-3282.
Let me know if you have any other questions.

thanks,
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Tonya

Tonya

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Re: Tonya McNeill Interview 23rd Fed/1st March
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2009, 03:58:05 AM »
Since I've been asked a bunch, here is a picture of all the designs on the adjustable hats CD including the monkey.
[attachment=0:2btii80o]cover-sheet.jpg[/attachment:2btii80o]
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Tonya

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Re: Tonya McNeill Interview 23rd Fed/1st March
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2009, 10:05:48 PM »
Well, I guess it's time to start the interview :)

1, What road led you into balloon modelling and when did you get started with balloons?

I decided to learn how do make balloons after seeing a balloon lady at twisting at a restaurant in Denver, Co.  It just looked like something fun to try.  
I came home, ordered a small balloon kit, and a couple of bags of balloons and starting playing.  I also found 3 books at our public library on balloon twisting, so I checked them out, and tried some of the designs from them too.  The only things I could actually make well was a dog, a flower, and a sword. (to this day, I still haven't mastered the swan...lol).  Anyways, in 2003, I was asked to volunteer at my daughter's school carnival twisting balloons.  All I made the whole night were those three figures.  After carnival, I didn't pick up another balloon again til the following year when I was asked to volunteer again.  About two weeks prior to the carnival, I ordered another bag of balloons to practice with, and started learning all over again.  I decided I should add a couple more designs to my twisting, so I learned the bird on a swing, and one other one (don't remember what it was now).  I then had 5 figures, and felt pretty good about it.  Again, after carnival, I didn't touch another balloon until the following year.  At the carnival in 2005 a bunch of parents asked if I ever considered doing birthday parties and I just laughed at them at the time.  I thought they were crazy for even asking that!  But, it put the bug in my ear.  It wasn't until a year later  (Oct. 2006) that I started thinking about it more seriously and wanted to try to learn more difficult things.
I stumbled on the BHQ website, and it was all over for me right then and there.  Once I saw what could actually be done with balloons, I was hooked.  I HAD to learn more.  I ordered TONS of balloons, and  every back issue of Balloon Magic magazine I could get my hands on, and I started practicing everyday, all day long (sometimes 12-14 hours a day).
I started twisting full time in February 2007, and opened a shop in town on Halloween Day in 2007.

3, What’s your best twisting experience?  

My best twisting experiences are when I have the chance to take my time and actually create "on the spot" what people ask for.  When I have no pressure to be a "balloon making machine".

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

The worst thing that happened was actually not too long ago at my weekly restaurant.  I had just gotten to a table and offered to make a balloon for a little girl, but while I was standing there, another mom came up to me with her two kids and asked if I would make them something quick before they left (they were just walking out the door).  She wanted just a round balloon blown up would for her youngest to play with and whatever quick for the other one. So, I agreed.  I figured it would only take a second, and the table I was at wasn't ready to leave yet anyway.  I proceeded to make a 2 balloon hat (quick and easy) and put it on the child's head.  They turned to walk away and the father at the table started yelling at the lady telling her how rude it was to "cut in line" before his daughter got her balloon.  I told him it was no big deal, it just took a minute, and I was all theirs. He raised his voice and told me it WASN'T all right, and told me to butt out of it. He then stood up, and started really yelling and causing a scene.  I thought he was going to start a fist fight.  I cut in, told him his behavior was totally out of line, excused myself, and walked away.  It was scary!  Luckily that's the only time I've EVER had anything bad happen.

5, What do you most enjoy about twisting & why?
 
I really love the creative side of twisting and knowing that there is no limit to what can be made (some things I make turn out much better than others...lol).  It's very relaxing for me too also, kind of theraputic.
And, I really love the looks on people's faces when I hand them their balloons.  Smiles are awesome!

6, What's your favourite age to entertain?

I think my favorite ages are between 5-7 years old.  They start to have a little more patience and usually VERY creative thinking...lol.

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

I am not much of an entertainer, meaning I don't do a set presentation.  I do balloon art at parties and basically make it up as I go along.
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Tonya

Daniel M

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Re: Tonya McNeill Interview 23rd Fed/1st March
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2009, 11:58:05 PM »
Hello Tonya, Looking through your pdf files you emailed to me & I very much like how practicle your hat designs are.  The cow & the elephant are my two favourite :)

Daniel
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Graham Lee

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Re: Tonya McNeill Interview 23rd Fed/1st March
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2009, 12:20:04 AM »
I just put this review on the chit chat thread so thought I'd better put it up here as well;

Tonya McNeill, class notes have some really nice & cute designs on them and a bargain at only $20 for the 10 designs because she also shows an extra 12 designs with no instructions but made with the same technique.
I very much liked the Giraffe, elephant and cow from the explained section and think the cow would look well funky with adding some udders to it  :lol:  
And from the extra 12 designs shown the Monkey, Santa and Frog are really nice with a special mention for the Zebra as this is one that can be difficult to make but looked good on the CD. It looked very much like the horse instructions with some added artwork, so a good buy when you see there are over 20 designs.
I think you would need to know the basic twists etc as not all the instructions are in picture form and step by step but they are all written down on the pdf file so the cd is fairly easy to follow for the basic twister.
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Tonya

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Re: Tonya McNeill Interview 23rd Fed/1st March
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2009, 01:10:29 AM »
Thanks Daniel & Graham,
I'm glad you liked them.  A quick correction though, the CD is only $15.00 if emailed, $18.00 if you want a hard copy shipped in the US.
But hey, they can send the $20.00 if they really want to  ;)  :lol:
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Tonya

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Re: Tonya McNeill Interview 23rd Fed/1st March
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2009, 01:36:56 PM »
8, What’s your favourite thing to make at the moment?   Actually, my favorite at the moment (since I just learned it at T&S) are Patrick's birds.  I make them every chance I get.

9, What is the most asked for model?  It changes frequently, but for the moment, for boys: T-Rex, Puppies, and bow & arrow.  For girls: Kitties, Mermaids or Fairies and Monkeys.

10, What do you tend to do more of if stuck in the 'balloon production line' model? Puppies, kitties, or bow & arrows

11, Who is your market aimed at?  It's not specifically aimed at anyone.  It's aimed at everyone that loves balloons!

12, What kind of work do you do mostly - parties? Corporate? Etc
I do a lot of sculpture deliveries for all occasions, but I also twist for birthday parties and am down to one weekly restaurant that I work at.

13, What is your favourite/ideal gig to do?  Again, it's anywhere that they don't expect me to be a "balloon making machine".  I like to take a little extra time and play and create at the moment.

14, What irritates you most at a gig?  Dealing with rude, impatient and demanding people.
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Tonya

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Re: Tonya McNeill Interview 23rd Fed/1st March
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2009, 02:18:03 PM »
15, How do you book yourself?  

I get many bookings from the restaurant I work at, and from word of mouth. And giving out lots of cards where ever I go.

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

Well, there are two answers that I could give.  The largest single item I've made, is a David Grist type car to wear for a parade. But, it was too large and I had to put in on top of my Ford Sport Trac for the parade. (That was my first "big" thing.)  Since then, I've made lots of large "scenes".  When I had my storefront, I made several different window displays, and I participated in the large sculpture competition at DJ 2008.5, making a 3 little pigs scene (minus one pig), with the big bad wolf hiding behind a tree.

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

hmmm, I think my proudest achievements are when I convince myself to do anything out of my "comfort zone".  (example, doing the large sculpture competition, teaching the "mini class" as Twist and Shout, making the Adjustable Hats CD)  These are things that I never would have DREAMED about doing, let along actually doing them.  I have some good friends that kick me in the rear to do things like that. No matter how scary they are.  :)

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

Don't be afraid to try new things.  You never know where it will lead.  And if you are just starting out, don't let anyone convince you that you are wasting your time, or that you CAN'T do it.  I was told that many times when I first started.  Luckily, I didn't listen  ;)

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

I would like to do more teaching, maybe even starting basic classes in my area, and educating more people in the "ART" of balloons.

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

hmmm...actually, I think my personal goal is really neither of those.  My personal goal is to make at least 1 new figure everyday.  I may never use the design I make, but it helps keep things fresh.

21, What are your balloon goals for the future?  

I basically answered in question 19.  My only other goal is to get more CDs done.

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

No, I don't think I would.  I'm happy with what I've done.  I think any decisions I've made both good and bad, have helped me to be where I am today.

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

I don't really have an answer for that at this time...I'll have to think about that and get back to it.

24, Who's the most famous person you have made a balloon creation for?  
Unfortunately, I have not had an opportunity to make a balloon creation for a famous person yet.

25, How do you keep the enthusiasm going & what still excites you about our great world of latex?
Seeing all the new people joining the balloon community excites me.  Watching balloons grow as they have, it means there are going to be many new, wonderful ideas coming about soon.



26, What inspires or is your thought process in coming up with a new design?
Being a part of these balloon forums is wonderful. Seeing what others post gives me tons of ideas. The other thing is when I do sculptures for birthday parties, I tell people that I will never duplicate a sculpture.  I will make something similar, but will never do it exactly the same way.  It challenges me to try different ways to make the same thing.  I think it's important to do that, otherwise you get stuck in a rut, making the same thing all the time.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »
Have a happy day \":-)\"

Tonya