Surrey balloon artist pumps up her profile

Balloon artist Kristal Yee with some of her creations.  - Evan Seal / The Leader
Balloon artist Kristal Yee with some of her creations.
— image credit: Evan Seal / The Leader

Kristal Yee's career has been getting steadily pumped up for nearly eight years and now the local balloon artist is taking her twisting talents to New York City.

Trained as an actor, Yee made her first balloon creation in 2006 after an events company was looking for someone to fill in during a large company event. Her repertoire has been expanding ever since.

"I soon realized that I would rather do this (balloon twisting)," said Yee, "than go into an audition room with 60 other people who look like you and are all vying for the same three-line part."

There is no balloon school, so Yee had to learn on the job, often traveling across Canada and the United States to attend various balloon conventions where hundreds of balloon artists get together to brainstorm ideas and techniques.

This week (Feb. 1-4) Yee was invited to join 74 other artists from around the world in New York City to help construct a five-storey, 50,000-balloon Jack and The Beanstalk sculpture organized by Airigami – an art studio specializing in balloon art.

Although she is comfortable twisting giant carousels, elaborate animals and even wearable jet packs, a structure of this size will be something completely new for Yee.

"I'm looking forward to working on all aspects of the build, from the vine to the giant. I've never done anything like this before," said Yee.

Following completion of the project, the twisters plan on holding a popping party to celebrate the event.

You can see more of Yee's work at www.faceaballoonza.com

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