This is the first in a series of newsletters that will probably be published every 2 or 3 months as the need arise.
Personally I don't really appreciate useless emails, and spams even less, so I certainly don't intend to inflict any on you, however I know that you like balloon twisting and that you appreciate my tutorials, so I hope these emails will be useful to you. Do not hesitate to let me know, I read and respond to all your emails and comments.
In this letter, I will start with a summary of the new features that were added to this website since the beginning of the year. Then I will share with you about the new projects that should come up in the coming months.
The Very Last Tutorial
Last Friday was the publication of my latest tutorial on YouTube: How to make a balloon diplodocus or velociraptor.
This new balloon twisting tutorial will not only allow you to learn how to make balloon dinosaurs (a diplodocus and a velociraptor), but you will revisit the idea of recycling a balloon animal, in order to transform it completely into another one. using often very minor changes. This is a concept that we had already covered with the unicorn tutorial, then with the lion tutorial and which will be very useful for you to expand your repertoire of balloon animals.
As a reminder, each of my tutorials is published in French and in English and consists of a video, subtitled in both languages, as well as an abundantly illustrated photo guide for each step. This photo guide is itself downloadable in PDF in both languages.
The New Version of the Website
Since the beginning of the year, the website has been completely overhauled: new hosting, new CMS, new confidentiality charter and better management of cookies and the GDPR. That's the hidden part of the iceberg, the one that takes the most time and that is not really visible, however it is essential to build on a good foundation for the following part.
The following part? Well... it's the new graphic charter, the removal of obsolete content, the simplification of menus, the more intuitive layout of each tutorials, the improvement of accessibility support, the addition of new content (including the new dinosaur tutorial) and the opening of the new comment section (including the spam protection that comes with it), to name just a few of the new aspects of the tip of the iceberg.
All this is now completed!
And Now What?
Well, as you may already know, the idea is to transform this site into an educational and artistic center on balloon twisting and decoration. After more than twenty years on the roads of France and elsewhere, and after hundreds of thousands of balloons (and advancing age...shh!!) I realized that time had come for me to slow down, change pace and move from action to education.
To do this, I am preparing a program that will really allow you to learn balloon sculpture from A to Z. This is initially what I had in mind with my small YouTube channel but with time, I realized there are several limitations inherent with this platform. That said, these limitations are not insurmountable, which is why I intend to remedy them.
- The lack of method is a first notable limitation to real learning. YouTube is a gigantic self-service where the huge choice can paradoxically turn out to be detrimental since all levels are mixed. Generally it is better to learn to walk before learning to run, and if going from tutorial to tutorial without logical or progressive learning scheme can still allow you to quickly make sculptures with several balloons that seem quite impressive at first sight... precisely it is often only in appearance. A closer look often reveals poor assembling, glaring asymmetries, crooked pinch-twists, and body parts that look more like neon tubes than legs, stomachs, or tails. And I'm not talking about the sculptures whose beginning is overly inflated, at the risk of exploding in a child's hand, while the end comes undone by itself due to a lack of air pressure. And it's a shame because once bad habits and bad behavior take hold, it's very difficult to get rid of them..
- The lack of follow-up and interactivity is a second notable limitation. Although YouTube's comment section allows for some interactivity, it cannot match the personalized follow-up that a videoconference-type service could offer, or even the sending of a personal work video followed by feedback, commented and accompanied by suggestions for improvements.
I am thinking of some sustainable solutions to overcome this situation. At the moment, I'm heading towards a premium version of the site which would offer methodical and interactive learning in exchange, for example, of an annual paid subscription. I will obviously have to monetize this solution one way or another to be able to give personnal and full-time support to those who want it.
If this is the chosen solution, the "general public" version of the website will, of course, continue to be regularly supplied with new content. And those who wish will be invited, as before, to voluntary contributions through the Paypal link. Furthermore, I will soon re-introduce a certain amount of advertising that shouldn't be too intrusive.
Do not hesitate to send me your comments and suggestions to help this website become ever more useful and user-friendly. You can also let me know which tutorial you would like to see published, by posting your choice in the comments section of this other blog post. For now, I've been asked for a turtle (on the French side of the blog), so that's what I'm preparing to do, unless another model is highly demanded in the meantime.
See you soon,