IN a world where colours come to life and imagination takes flight, there exists a mastery that can transform mere air into whimsical wonders.
Welcome to the realm of balloon art, where skilled hands and fertile minds twist and shape the ordinary into the extraordinary.
It may seem like child’s play, but this is an art form that requires mental and physical dexterity and more than a little imagination, as Mornington couple Tammie and Trevor Timmers can attest.
The couple, currently battling it out on Channel 7’s Blow Up Australia to vie for the crown of national champions, has been weaving magic with latex for more than a decade under their business name Pimp My Balloons.
With each gentle loop or twist, the Timmers can create a vibrant universe of shapes, characters and sculptures, turning simple balloons into masterpieces and making the impossible a reality.
The balloon journey began with Tammie when she was in her 20s, but when she met her husband-to-be Trevor on a plane 12 years ago, it was a magical meeting of the minds.
Now 37, they clicked over similar goals to create, entertain and make people happy, and soon realised there was a whole new world they could explore together.
Trevor, who was working in real estate at the time, was so impressed by the joy that Tammie got from her job as a balloon artist, he knew it was his destiny.
“Making balloons is emotional for Tammie because she loves how they bring joy to people of all ages,” he said.
“When Tam first launched Pimp My Balloons and I witnessed her returning home from work brimming with happiness, it instilled in me the confidence to embark on this adventure alongside her.”
Trevor jumped on board, starting with balloon twisting for parties before moving into the decorator space and focusing on large balloon sculptures and wearables.
These days balloons are the couple’s full-time passion, and they juggle being parents to their two-year-old daughter with creating balloon offerings for weddings, corporate decorations, retail decorations and bouquets, and Balloon O’Gram gift deliveries, as well as presenting balloon twisting entertainment for all kinds of celebrations.
Tammie, who described herself as a latex manipulator, said picking a favourite was too hard from the thousands of creations they have made, but two recent top picks include a six-metre long by two-and-a-half metre-wide rideable Santa Sleigh for Karingal Shopping Centre, and a five metre by 10 metre Tiki god scene as the stage backdrop for the Rock Ballarat festival.
She said they liked to “step outside the box” with their creations.
“Whatever you can imagine, we’ll create it, imagination knows no boundaries,” she said.
In some designs, there is an almost architectural and engineering-like element, with Trevor’s special skill linking balloons with a Z weave technique to create massive shapes, like the plesiosaur he made for his winning Blow Up entry last week.
The Timmers have their own clothing brand, Balloon Dog Apparel. Comfortable and colourful, their designs are loved by balloon artists and entertainers and are hot sellers in Australia and overseas, where balloon artistry is big business.
The success and international recognition they have achieved has blown them both away (no pun intended) and balloon art has opened up their worlds. They have travelled through Europe, Canada and the United States with their work, and have been introduced to people and places they never thought possible.
They have won local and international awards for their balloon work, including in Las Vegas in 2017 and the Australasian Balloon Designers of the Year 2019. They are recognised for their commitment to the environment through membership in the Pro Environment Balloon Alliance and their commitment to the Terracycle balloon recycling program.
“When I started making a career out of balloons, I never imagined how far it could take me and that we would still be loving it and making a career out of it almost 20 years later,” Tammie said.
“We meet so many interesting people in this business, it’s a very welcoming industry full of wonderful people – it’s a family.”
Tammie says being part of the Blow-Up series is a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity to show the world what is possible to create with balloons and compete against some of the best balloon artists in the world. By round three of the show last week the couple had won several events, including first place for Tammie’s breathtaking circus-inspired design.