"I'm gonna bring everything in my arsenal for twisting awesome creations and characters!": an interview with balloon artist Sean Rogers

Last week, we interviewed veteran ESL event balloon twister Daniel "FuDD" Ravia about his plans for Intel Extreme Masters San Jose at the SAP Center in November. This time he will be being joined by Sean Rogers, a fellow balloon artist whose creations have appeared everywhere from Las Vegas to Disney World. Here we chat to Sean about his first big gaming gig and what he hopes his work will bring to Intel Extreme Masters San Jose.

ESL: Hi, Sean! First thing’s first: when and how did you start balloon twisting?
Sean Rogers: I've been balloon twisting for about six years now, and for about two and half years as a full-time job!

ESL: What was your first big balloon twisting gig?
Sean: I've been twisting at a event for five years now called The Festival of Trees and Lights for the Barton Health Foundation charity fundraiser in South Lake Tahoe.

ESL: What has been your biggest project to date? How long did it take you?
Sean: My biggest project to date wasn't very big - it was more detailed, I guess. It was a sit on motorcycle that I made at Twist & Shout 2015. I was competing for Top Twister - probably had about 40 hours between my small, medium and large competition entries!

ESL: Do you have a favorite balloon twisting project?
Sean: I really like building vehicles, especially interactive ones that kids and adults can sit on or get inside and get fun photos with. You get to see a different side of our art by making it usable and interactive - and detailed! But in reality, every balloon I twist is a favorite project - it's a passion to put extreme detail and make balloons look as cool as possible! It's like drawing a picture with air and latex.

ESL: According to your website, you used to make balloons for Disney World - what was that like?
Sean: So I was actually in the Disney World area twisting for a company called Funopia at the time - it's where I got my start! I was only there for short time but it was super fun and the level of balloons that we had to twist being in the Disney area took balloon art to a whole new level. That's what really intrigued me - it was way beyond your one-balloon dogs of the past.

ESL: How did you meet Daniel, and how did he get you involved in Intel Extreme Masters San Jose?
Sean: I met Daniel at Twist & Shout 2015 when I was competing. I was introduced to him through a buddy of ours (Jack Mattson). Both of us had made some pretty cool Yodas in the past and we had a cool conversation about different techniques and styles we used to come up with the designs and just hit it off from there! He's a great balloon twister and I'm honored to be asked to work beside him. He gave me a shout asked me if I was available and I was, so I'm stoked for the opportunity! This is going to be a next-level creative experience.

ESL: How are you planning to prepare for the event? What will you be bringing with you in the way of supplies?
Sean: I'm staring at the characters a lot! They're so detailed and intriguing. Last night, I had a go at Lux - it's a rough draft and more of a display piece than a quick version, which I'm working on as well. I wish I could pull off that much detail in 15 to 20 minutes! As far as supplies go, I'm gonna bring everything in my arsenal for twisting awesome creations and characters!

ESL: Do you play many video games? If so, what’s your favorite (or favorites!)?
Sean: To be honest, I haven't played video games in years. I love watching them being played, I'm just not that good at them! But being a professional balloon twister, I definitely get to make a lot of the characters from games and cartoons - that's my video game these days!

ESL: Potentially tough question: League of Legends or Counter-Strike?
Sean: For me, I like both of them. Studying the characters and the weapons for both is really making me think outside the box about different techniques and fun possibilities to really push the limits of our balloon twisting to make super-quick but super-detailed balloons!

ESL: Do you have a favorite League of Legends champion?
Sean: I have to say, studying all the characters, Heimerdinger keeps catching my eye. He looks like he's having way too much fun creating some really cool stuff and playing with gadgets!

ESL: What are you most looking forward to about being at Intel Extreme Masters San Jose?
Sean: The intensity of event! I was watching some videos of past events online to get a feel for what I'm getting into, and it just looks like the energy level is completely insane! Can't wait to feel that vibe, feed off it and showcase some next-level balloon work!

ESL: Is there anything you’d like to say to the fans who’ll be at the event?
Sean: The possibilities are limitless in anything you do - always push the limits!

Sean and Daniel will be cooking up some incredible League of Legends and CS:GO balloon at Intel Extreme Masters San Jose at the SAP Center on November the 21st and 22nd - grab your ticket here to make sure you don’t miss out!

You can also find Sean on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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