On August 9, 2017 I arrived in Athens, GA to participate in Ballooniversity 2017. I joined 200 balloon artists from around the world, and we were presented with a challenge; to create something spectacular using over 250,000 balloons.
We arrived at the convention center in the early morning of August 9th, 2017. Everyone took their places and one of the lead designers began to speak. He presented us with the challenge; one that almost seemed impossible to complete in 3 days. We were to take a very large and empty room (see above photos) and transform it into an African Safari.
He compared what we were about to undertake too climbing a mountain. He told us we would get to a point, sometime during the second day, that we would just want to give up. That it seemed impossible to complete. He encouraged us not to give up when we hit that point. To reach deep inside ourselves and push past that wall. Keep climbing, do not give up; do not give in. It will all be worth it in the end.
We spent 16-18 hours per day, inflating, twisting, (sometimes popping), and putting into place balloon after balloon. Many of us worked to the point of our fingers bleeding. Every muscle in our bodies ached. Our feet felt like they were on fire from standing for so many hours. But we never gave up; we never gave in.
The result of our collective effort was spectacular. When people walked into that room they were in awe. They were overwhelmed with the beauty and enormity of the design.
As people walked, from scene to scene, you would see the huge smiles on their faces and hear the amazement in their voices that everything they were seeing was created with balloons. Even those of us who worked on this project were overwhelmed when we first walked through the balloon tunnel and into that beautiful scene.
I have always known that balloon art can be beautiful and take an event from ordinary to extraordinary. But, until I worked on this project, I never fully understood the power of balloons to take an event from ordinary to over the top spectacular. I will never forget this experience.
~Thank you for reading our inaugural blog post…Sharon