Q and A with balloon artist Steve Tamayo

Steve’s Twisted Balloons

Balloon artist Steve Tamayo of Steve’s Twisted Balloons has been a business owner crafting balloon sculptures for three years now. A full-time supervisor by night, Tamayo found inspiration from the street performers that take over downtown Holland each summer as part of the Street Performer Series on Thursday evenings. 

Since making his first unicorn for his daughters, he’s crafted thousands of balloons expanding his “repertoire” to include wearable balloon suits (he’s currently working on perfecting his pizza slice suit).

Steve’s Twisted Balloons
Tamayo in a balloon helmet

Q: How do you prepare for an event?

A: For birthday parties, I always ask if there is a theme of some sort so I can make stuff that’s orientated towards that. If there is no theme, then I just make what they request at the time. 

For bigger company picnics etc., I hydrate and stretch before and always make sure I have a ton of balloons. 

I always make a board that has figures for kids to choose from; it seems to make the line go quicker so that kids can point and say what color they want.

Steve’s Twisted Balloons
Kids show off their balloon dogs, sword, and heart

Q: What strange (if any) requests have you received?

A: An octopus-eating shark with a fish in the shark’s mouth for some reason. 

Tamayo also shared he’s received unique bachelorette party requests.

Steve’s Twisted Balloons
Balloon suits from a holiday parade

Q: In the balloon business, has there been anything that surprised you that you didn’t know when you first started?

A: The biggest thing for me was the impact I was making on our town. More of the same people would come back and wait in my line for 45 minutes to get one of my balloons. Also, it surprised me how nice people are — always being positive towards me and I love it.

Steve’s Twisted Balloons
Maggie Barnes with one of Tamayo’s creations at her Knock Out Cancer fundraiser

Tamayo will be a part of Holland’s Summer Street Performer Series 2024 and local craft shows around the Holland and Zeeland area.

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