Author Topic: Ali, The Face Painting Lady interview  (Read 2065 times)

Graham Lee

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Ali, The Face Painting Lady interview
« on: January 15, 2009, 12:44:25 PM »
Ali Has volunteered her services & time to answer the questions for you this week.
If you have any more questions than those already on the list then please fire away.
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theFPlady

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Re: Ali, The Face Painting Lady interview Feb 2nd/8th
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2009, 04:10:04 PM »
Firstly, hi to everyone. This is a work in progress as it takes a little time to answer 28 questions but I will do my best. Happy reading....
 :D  :)  ;)  :D



1, What road led you into balloon modelling?
I was working in insurance as a liability underwriter for 12 years and then I had my family. I started playing with face painting which turned into a small business and then someone took the time to show me a balloon dog. The rest is history. A complete change in direction. :)

2, when did you get started with balloons?
I was doing a face painting job in Feb 2008 (yes, only one year on) painting 150 brownies!  There was a guy there churning our balloon dogs and at the end of the day he kindly took the time to teach me how it was done. I thought it was all very complicated but I was interested as I thought it would compliment the face painting. A week later I met Grommit at a face painting jam and he very kindly showed me the basics.  I now follow Grommits example and 'pass it on' when asked.
Little did I know it would take over my world.

3, What’s your best twisting experience?
When you are performing to an audience, there is a moment when you are quite rapped up in what you are doing, when the patter between the customers and you is in full flow, you look around for a moment and you realise the power of what you are doing. You are perfoming and there is a natural high from doing that. To hold the audience in your hand and make them laugh is the best ever.

4, What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you during a ballooning/entertaining session?
No worst things as yet but there is always time...........I like to think the glass is always half full.

5, What do you most enjoy about twisting & why?
Its so very simple and so very clever to do.  It makes people smile whatever their age.  Its a very simple bit of happiness is a mad world.
Also, I have lost a stone in the last year - think it is all the physical work. My arms are turning into Popeye!

6, What's your favourite age to entertain?
I started adding it to face painting kids parties as a package, but I have done fetes which is prediminately child orientated, but I did work on a large job before christmas in a workplace for a week and that was a different skill again.  The way you chat needs to be different. If I am honest, the kids are my bread and butter, but I also really enjoyed working with the grown ups as it pushed me a little further and I do enjoy a challenge.  I do enjoy chatting to different people and find people interesting.

7, Do you have the same act but vary the presentation for all ages or do you have set acts for different ages?
I do not have an act as such, I have seen others acting a character (like pirates!) but I decided that I was not comfortable with that as such and that I was just to be myself as that was my strength and not to try to hard at something else. I have since realised that I am actually acting as it is a performance.  Being a mum, I have a natural way with the kids as I know how to speak to them and get down to their level. So, thats my style.  I am confident and gregarious, so can chat to anyone. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.  I am up for lots of fancy dress though. Its best not to take yourself too seriously.

8, What’s your favourite thing to make at the moment?
For speed, anything that looks impressive but is simple so I judge it on the number of balloons it takes.
For its shear wow factor, with one balloon it has to be the motorbike.
I love making footballers kicking the ball which is of course 2 260 and a round. Fast and personal as you colour for team and write on it!

9, What is the most asked for model?
I like a challenge as long as there is not a huge queue in which case, keep it simple.  The person who asks for something a little out there and thinks for themselves is all right by me!  If I do not know how to make it, I will go home and learn so that next time I can be a little clever. Like the boy who thought he was smart and asked for a chicken.  Well, he got his chicken but only because I was one step ahead of him.  I still have a lot of learn and have just mastered the train which I was pants at before so it is a work in progress.

10, What do you tend to do more of if stuck in the 'balloon production line' model?
I am not proud to say, it is lots of flowers and swords.

11, Who is your market aimed at?
My website is http://www.facepaintinglady.co.uk which caters for childrens parties and the like. I also do a fair amount of commercial work, but the childrens party line is my bread and butter. I am shortly to bring out a new website aimed at the commercial market for balloons only.  For people who want entertainment but may not necessarily have thought of balloons. Just trying to tap into another potential audience. Watch this space.

12, What kind of work do you do mostly - parties? Corporate? Etc
I would say 75% parties, and 25% commercial although it is going more commercial now.

13, What is your favourite/ideal gig to do?
Just pure balloons for a good days wage. It may be physical and tiring but very rewarding.

14, What irritates you most at a gig?
Making sure I will get paid. Kids that want to pull out the balloons from your apron!  

15, How do you book yourself?
Through my website, contacts in the face painting world and agents.

16, What’s the biggest thing you’ve ever made?
I have about 20 dvds and I am working my way through them. The ones I have enjoyed most are the David Grist ones. I was very pleased with the birthday cake and the bride and groom. I want to get a few twister friends round in a little while and we can all have a go at building something really big in my living room!
Should be a laugh if nothing else.

17, What has been your proudest achievement in our wonderful world of twisted latex?
I am proudest of creating a small business from scratch and building it up to something that may mean I do not need to go out in get a 'proper' job again.  I love being my own boss as each success however small is your own.  I am thinking in the long run of setting up an entertainment agency as it would work around family life which is number one.

18, What advice would you give to someone starting out, or wanting to increase their business?
To have confidence in what you do and go for it. You'll never know if you do not try. Coming from a business background that side comes very easily to me,  Talk to others and network as much as possible, it can open doors.

19, What road in latex do you see yourself taking in the future
I am working on the new website for commercial clients and people who have not really considered balloons in terms of entertainment.  I suspect it is slowly being more main-stream.  A serious balloon artist should not really be known as the Face Painting Lady so the new site will be for The Cheshire Balloon Lady (working on a tried and tested formula that lacks any imagination whatsoever).

20, What is your personal goal when you set off to work? Is it money or to entertain etc?
If it was the money, I would be back at insurance.  For me, its about quality of life and family is number one. Most of my work is at weekends so I husband can look after the kids and the money I bring in helps us a lot.  I would not do it if I did not really enjoy it and get a kick out of it.  Its an adventure. You meet lots of facinating people along the way and one or two nasties.  The characters in the entertainments industry are fab.  Some I would count as good friends.  Its fun to have a variety of jobs to go it. Each one is different.  Doing it for yourself is the best ever.

21, What are your balloon goals for the future?
To practice, practice, practice.
To never loose the fun.
To be the best I can be.

22, If you could start all over again, would you change anything?
Not at all. Its a trip and I am enjoying the ride.  I have just started.

23, How would you like the future of balloon modelling to develop?
For it to be more mainstream.  Everyone automatically wants a magician for dinner dances, weddings, etc.  Why not a twister instead?

24, Who's the most famous person you have made a balloon creation for?
As I have only been doing this for a year, only one jumps out.  I was in footballers wives territory doing a party.  Girls in versace aged 6.  I recognised some of the dads from the telly!

25, How do you keep the enthusiasm going & what still excites you about our great world of latex
Its too early in the journey to run out of enthusiasm.  
Making balloons, however temporary is instant art. Its creative and you can release your inner child.

26, What inspires or is your thought process in coming up with a new design
I did start by learning how to do the various models exactly as in books/dvds but one day (and your not sure what day it is!) you take the leap to thinking beyond that and thinking on your feet. Thats when the penny drops.  I am tweeking them now and think I will sit down with pen and paper one night and plan a big model. Should be interesting.

27, Who would you like to work with dead or alive?
I would liked to have met David Grist.  

28, What makes you laugh?
Lots of things.  I try to not take life so seriously sometimes.  
Lifes a game, you just have to decide if you want to play or not!
« Last Edit: January 16, 2009, 06:31:42 PM by theFPlady »
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Graham Lee

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Re: Ali, The Face Painting Lady interview Feb 2nd/8th
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2009, 05:09:03 PM »
Quote from: "theFPlady"
3, What’s your best twisting experience?
When you are performing to an audience, there is a moment when you are quite rapped up in what you are doing, when the patter between the customers and you is in full flow, you look around for a moment and you realise the power of what you are doing. You are perfoming and there is a natural high from doing that. To hold the audience in your hand and make them laugh is the best ever.

What a great answer :D
That seems to sum it up perfectly
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Danny the Idiot

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Re: Ali, The Face Painting Lady interview Feb 2nd/8th
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2009, 05:22:33 PM »
Quote from: "Graham Lee"
Quote from: "theFPlady"
3, What’s your best twisting experience?
When you are performing to an audience, there is a moment when you are quite rapped up in what you are doing, when the patter between the customers and you is in full flow, you look around for a moment and you realise the power of what you are doing. You are perfoming and there is a natural high from doing that. To hold the audience in your hand and make them laugh is the best ever.

What a great answer :D
That seems to sum it up perfectly


I agree whole heartedly!!!
 :D

danny
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theFPlady

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Re: Ali, The Face Painting Lady interview Feb 2nd/8th
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2009, 05:45:32 PM »
I have to be honest in terms of the best moment and be more specific.  The one that stays in my mind is when I was doing a christening over 4 hours with face painting and balloons.  I had painted all the children with blood and gore (thats what they wanted so thats what they got!).  It was a few hours in so the adults were quite relaxed and had quite a lot to drink. I was doing a fairly complex balloon for a little girl and she was happy watching it being made. I looked around at that point and there were a dozen adults watching me as I twisted with their mouths open waiting to see what it would become.  It was at that point that I realised the power of the balloon and that its attraction was universal!
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Professor T Wist

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Re: Ali, The Face Painting Lady interview Feb 2nd/8th
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2009, 06:56:05 PM »
Who would you most like to make a model for and why? What would you make them ?
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »

theFPlady

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Re: Ali, The Face Painting Lady interview Feb 2nd/8th
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2009, 11:50:49 AM »
Well theres a question. My mind is a blank.
 :D
Not for the first time!
I was thinking this morning of volunteering my services to a girl I know who is getting married in May.  I would like the challenge of making a large bride and groom that looked like them. You know, just one of these things that you want to know if you can do or not! Just for the challenge.
Life would be boring if you were not just slightly off your trolley!
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