Balloon man brings colour and laughter
John Martin is an artist, set designer and balloon entertainer extraordinaire. His company Balloons Funtastic aims to colour the world and people’s lives through balloons, although he said many people had preconceived ideas about his role.
After creating a ‘‘ nightmare’’ magic show for his son 18 years ago, where all the balloons burst resulting in near-complete disaster, a friend took pity on him and Mr Martin was booked again for a child’s party.
From such humble beginnings, the successful Tirau-based company now spans corporate set designing, a Balloon Skool for children (and bigger kids), special effects, crazy character balloons and Mr Martin also offers himself as Captain Jelly for stage shows and holiday programmes.
‘‘Realistically, to run a business, it was not feasible to keep to one option, you have to grow and develop and broaden the skill base.
‘‘I’ve been inspired by the next job. It’s all about the people and making a difference to people in their lives and the spontaneity.
‘‘I enjoy using creativity to design something to fit a theme.’’
Originally from Devon, Mr Martin arrived in New Zealand 22 years ago as a ‘‘trophy husband’’ to his Kiwi wife Brie, who works on the administration side of the company.
This year, Mr Martin gained a certified balloon artist ranking from American balloon company Qualatex, which has led to off-shore opportunities.
The company developed its range of products and services to even out demand through the year.
Coming into summer, Mr Martin is busy with kids’ parties and completed the special balloon effects for Christmas in the Park in November.
‘‘It’s all about the challenge, we thrive on it.
‘‘Our key point of difference is we never say never. Instead of saying ‘we can’t do this’, we say ‘how can we’.’’