MMB: How much time do you spend working on average as an artist? Do you work elsewhere as well?
Right now, I work only as a self-employed balloon artist. I don’t have any other job. I mostly work on weekends, about 10 hours a week, on average. I can hold a full time job, if I want to.
MMB: How do you advertise your services? Newspapers, online, flyers, radio? Word of mouth?
Word of mouth, period. Once in a while, craigs list. But, word of mouth really keeps me busy. As a solo artist, I can only do so much. Once I am booked, I am booked and can’t be booked some place else. Over the years, I forged relationships with event entertainment agencies. They also send me business. I no longer work restaurants. But people who got my business card from those days, still call me for private events.
MMB: How much to do your charge (approximately) per hour for an event?
I charge from $100-300 per hour. A beginner can expect to charge from $50 to $100 for a private event.
MMB: What is the most elaborate piece you’ve ever made? How much did it cost?
I made balloon sculptures of Darth Veida, Shaquille O’Neil, Borat (all full size). Big sculptures cost about $100-200. When I made Borat (at the time of Borat movie release), I tried to sell the sculpture on eBay for $20,000. I didn’t sell it, but it brought a lot of publicity. LOL The news got picked up on many blogs and I was profiled in The Miami Herald. t was 4th time The Miami Herald interviewed me. One thing about balloon art, you can get a lot of media coverage out of it. It is always an attention getter.
MMB: What is the best part of your job?
The best part of this job is I get paid to do what I enjoy doing. I also get my what I called “color fix”. I just need some color in my life. It is just how I am. An artist would understand. Colors for an artist like breathing.. LOL..
I also can stop and start at any time I want. I don’t have to be any
specific place at 9 am every day. If I don’t want to work this week, I
don’t have to. I can work more next week to catch up. If I would travel to
different countries, I could work there too, if necessary. I also feel
very confident about
my retirement years. I always can make money with little effort if I have to.
MMB: What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a side job or career as a event entertainer?
First, find out if you like it. It makes all the difference. Volunteer at events with entertainment. Take a class, if there is one in your area. If not, make friends with someone who is already established entertainer. They are usually very friendly. You can find an entertainer in your area here (Do search by your zip code).
MMB: Any other tips?
The key secret is this. Most people think that to be an event entertainer you need to go to a circus school or have some other elaborate training. Then you need to have a business plan, operating and marketing budget and establish a company.
But I can tell you this. All you have to do is want to do it. That’s all. The cost of minimum supplies is $15 or so. You can learn the basics in 2 hours. Most people don’t know the different between basic and advanced balloon art. And you can make them happy either way.
If you want to learn advanced art, all the power to you. But if you have bills to pay and need money now, grab a bag of balloons and a pump and call a local restaurant to offer your entertainment for tips now.
Also, Feel free to click around and explore this web site. On the left are articles about me in the press, on the left are photo albums with some great pictures. If you have any questions, ask them in comments bellow. If you want to keep up with me follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/mylifeandart Good luck!