Today Michael Bey talks to us about balloon art – or “twisting,” as professional twisters call it – and how UGlu® helps unlock his creativity and imagination when it comes to twisting up some inflatable art!
If you’re curious about how UGlu® is perfect for balloon decor, check out our page here, and read on to our interview with Michael Bey!
Do you have a website or any social media sites you’d like for us to share with our audience?
We’re told you do regular Facebook Live events. When do you host them, and what do you talk about?
Usually daily @ 5pm EST. I do tutorials on all kinds of balloons including candy cups, on hairbands, wearables, all kinds of fun designs!
How long have you been practicing balloon art (or twisting), and how did you get into it?
I have been twisting for over 20 years. I started because I was trying to pick up some music equipment at the pawn shop, but they had sold it. My then four-year-old son was with me and the guy made him a balloon. I had just started working as a clown, so I asked him where he learned balloon twisting from. He went in the back and came out with a bag of balloons, a hand pump, and a VHS video. I’ve been twisting ever since!
How did you discover Pro Tapes® UGlu® products?
I was at Florida Super Jam 2018 (the longest running educational balloon twisting decorating & entertainment event in Orlando!) and saw a presentation by Michael Crayton, an exceptional balloon artist who was showing balloon hairbands. He would do these really tight curls with a 260 balloon (one of the most common balloon types for twisting) and I couldn’t figure out how he made it stay like that. I talked to him afterwards and he introduced me to UGlu® Dashes!
What does UGlu® allow you to do that other products and tools (ex. string) do not?
It has allowed me to focus on being an artist, getting to focus on creativity and taking the pressure off coming up with the technical engineering of how to attach things.
In other words, I usually would have to think about attachment points and how to make something in a balloon arrangement look natural. With UGlu® Dashes, I can just use my imagination and put things wherever I want and they will stay on and it looks awesome.
One example is when I was trying to add ordinance to a fighter jet balloon arrangement, but adding it in was going to ruin the line of the wing. Then I realized I could just stick a UGlu® dash underneath the wing, then stick on a missile I had made separately. It looked phenomenal and stayed on no matter how much the child played with it!
What are some other qualities of UGlu® that you appreciate?
They are easy to use and they’re not messy. Someone was trying to show me some techniques using rubber cement, but it was a real pain in the butt and just so messy! The UGlu® Dashes are easy to use and actually go unnoticed, so they don’t interfere with the final appearance of your balloon art.
Are there any projects you’d like to highlight for our audience?
The first thing is the most common thing I do with the tight curl. I add that on balloon hairbands and balloon floral arrangements.
The 2nd example, I was making an anniversary balloon candy cup bouquet and couldn’t figure out how to add some champagne glasses, then I realized I could just use the dashes to attach them to the front and that’s what I did. Went over very big!
Lastly, I can add accessories onto things, like a hat on a penguin, with just a couple of UGlu® Dashes.
My imagination is no longer inhibited with figuring out how to attach things to each other while maintaining the look I am going for.
If someone has never tried using UGlu® for their balloon art (or any other creative project) before, what advice would you have for them?
Don’t try anything else. I have tried EVERYTHING else!
Actually, until I was introduced to UGlu®, I had given up on using glue dots and whatnot because they just didn’t seem effective, were messy, or difficult to use. I’ve had people try to duplicate what I do with other glue dashes or dots and then they message me how it’s not working out. I’ll ask them what kind of adhesive they use and it’s always something else. Once I turn them on to the UGlu® Dashes, that’s it! They are fans for life!