Like many children, I had an obsession with balloon animals. I loved the complicated ones, twisted and sculpted by adults in clown costumes–usually at a birthday party or a carnival. I loved the ones with multiple colors of balloons, and especially the ones with multiple elements. The deflatable artwork never lasted long, but while it did, I found it awe-inpsiring. And generally worth fighting over with my younger sister.
One thing led to another (as so often happens with childhood obsessions) and by late elementary school, I didn’t have to wait for carnivals or birthday parties to get my balloon animal fix. Christmas came, and I was thereafter the proud owner of my own balloon animal book, plus a packet of pencil-sized balloons in every color of the rainbow. I seem to remember some bizarre balloon “hand pump” as well, but it never worked. Plus, I was mesmerized by the mouth-feel that accompanied blowing up those slender, impossible balloons. Just at the moment I thought my cheeks would surely explode, the balloon would magically inflate.
I wish I could say I got as far as the awesome balloon crab above, but I’m afraid that this obsession did not exactly lead to complete mastery of the craft. I sculpted my fair share of balloon dogs and, their cousins, the balloon poodle. I made some balloon flowers and a balloon hat or two (lame). I remember attempting a monkey once. But it exploded in my hands and I kind of lost my nerve. Balloon animal PTSD? I think I may have had it.
My love for balloon animals, however, remained, which is why I went absolutely nuts this week when I saw this amazing piece about a dinosaur sculpted out of balloons. If only someone had told 10-year-old me that my balloon animal obsession was monetizable. Perhaps, then, I would have stuck with it.
Five Things I’m Obsessing About This Week (and maybe you should, too): JUNE 5, 2013
1. Nothing tops dinosaurs, but these balloon sculptures are pretty cool, too. (Though I’ll skip the balloon dress for prom, thank you very much.)
2. As someone who loves all things food-related, I can’t stop laughing at this.
3. I can hear the vows now: With this ring, I thee…/May the force be with you.
4. Past and present collide in this hilarious cartoon about dance.
5. As far as cuteness goes, these beat balloon dogs by a mile. And yes, clearly, they ARE the secret to world peace.