Twist of fate

By Liz Bell Photos Supplied

In a world where colours come to life and imagination takes flight, there exists a mastery that can transform mere air into whimsical wonders.

Welcome to the realm of balloon art, where skilled hands and fertile minds twist and shape the ordinary into the extraordinary.

It may seem like child’s play, but this is an artform that requires mental and physical dexterity and more than a little imagination, as Mornington Peninsula couple Tammie and Trevor Timmers can attest.

The engaging and energetic couple were recently participants in the Channel 7 Blow Up series, which showcased the skills and individualism of balloon artists around Australia.

Hosted by Stephen Curry and comedian Becky Lucas, and judged by professional balloon artist Chris Adamo, the unlikely show was as funny and entertaining as it was visually spectacular. 

Trevor made some incredible balloon designs but eventually went out in episode five of the show, in which ten artists competed to create the best balloon artworks for a $100,000 prize. Tammie continued to stun the audience with her fabulous designs and made it all the way to the top four in finals week. 

The peninsula couple have been weaving their magic with latex for more than a decade under their business name of Pimp My Balloons. With each gentle loop or twist, they create a vibrant universe of shapes, characters and sculptures, turning simple balloons into masterpieces and making the impossible a reality.

The balloon journey began with Tammie when she was in her 20s, but when she met her husband-to-be Trevor on a plane 12 years ago, it was a magical meeting of creative minds.

The pair, both now 37, clicked over similar goals to create, entertain and make people happy, and soon realised there was a whole new world they could explore together.

Trevor, who was working in real estate at the time, was so impressed by the joy that Tammie got from her job as a balloon artist, he knew it was his destiny.

Trevor Timmers created an incredible six-metre ‘plesiosaur’ for Blow Up Australia, showcasing his skills, imagination and creativity

“Making balloons is emotional for Tammie because she loves how they bring joy to people of all ages,” he said.

“When Tam first launched Pimp My Balloons and I witnessed her returning home from work brimming with happiness, it instilled in me the confidence to embark on this adventure alongside her.” 

Before long Trevor had jumped on board, starting with balloon twisting for parties before moving into the decorator space and focusing on large balloon sculptures and wearables.

These days balloons are the pair’s full-time passion, and they juggle being parents to their two-year-old daughter, Thaya, with creating balloon offerings for weddings, corporate decorations, retail decorations and bouquets, and ‘balloon-O-gram’ gift deliveries, as well as presenting balloon twisting entertainment for all kinds of celebrations.

Whatever you can imagine, we’ll create it; imagination knows no boundaries 

“We are incredibly grateful for the remarkable support we receive from families and venues throughout the peninsula. However, despite the hectic schedule, we make it a priority to spend quality time as a family,” Tam said.

“Thaya, our little one, often accompanies us during installations. She eagerly observes and offers her ‘help’ whenever she can, sometimes even joining or assisting staff.”

Tammie, who describes herself as a latex manipulator, says choosing a favourite design is too hard from the thousands of creations they’ve made, but two recent top picks include a six metre-long by two and a half metre-wide rideable Santa Sleigh for Karingal Shopping Centre, and a five metre by ten metre Tiki god scene as the stage backdrop for the “Rock Ballarat” festival. 

She said the couple like to “step outside the box” to create jaw-dropping pieces.

“Whatever you can imagine, we’ll create it; imagination knows no boundaries,” she said.

In some designs there’s almost an architectural and engineering-like element to the art, with Trevor’s special skill linking balloons with a Z weave technique to create massive shapes, like the giant six metre plesiosaur he made for one of his winning Blow Up entries.

The couple have now developed their own clothing brand, Balloon Dog Apparel. Comfortable and colourful, their designs are loved by balloon artists and entertainers, and are hot sellers in Australia and overseas, where balloon artistry is big business.

Tammie and Trevor with daughter Thaya

The success and international recognition they have achieved has blown them both away, no pun intended, and balloon art has opened up their worlds. They have travelled through Europe, Canada and the USA with their work, and have been introduced to people and places they never thought possible.

The couple have also won local and international awards for their balloon work, including in Las Vegas in 2017 and the Australasian Balloon Designers of the Year 2019. 

“When I started making a career out of balloons, I never imagined how far it could take me and that we would still be loving it and making a career out of it almost 20 years later,” Tammie said.

“We meet so many interesting people in this business; it’s a very welcoming industry full of wonderful people. It’s a family.”

Tammie says being part of the Blow Up series was a “once-in-a lifetime” opportunity to show the world what is possible to create with balloons and compete against some of the best balloon artists in the world.

She said that regardless of the end result, the competition was a huge win for the pair.

“We were so excited to show the Mornington Peninsula what we can create out of balloons and we thank everyone for their support, not only throughout the show but also over the past ten years.”

Peninsula Essence – July 2023