Living up to the Mike Homes Standard

Canadian contractor Mike Homes says, “Codes are the minimal building requirement. If you can go beyond that, you’re building a better house”. I agree! And as a house owner, I’ve seen what contractors call “Standard.”

Yet, I have a higher standard, or at least my mind thinks so.

Some call it OCD, anal, or just picky, but I think of it as “My standard.” From marketing material to balloon designs, I have a standard in my head; if it doesn’t measure up, I will improve it, discard it, or figure out something new, but it must meet the “standard.”

My Standards for Clarity and Consistency

  1. The balloon animal should be easily identifiable without needing interpretation to recognize the animal.
  2. All display pieces must have all the nozzles hidden or removed.
  3. The size and detail of each balloon design must be consistent and comparable to other designs I currently produce.

For over a decade, I’ve made a dolphin, which didn’t make the grade and should not be in my designs of balloon animals. I’ve asked a fellow balloon artist if they’ve encountered a design that meets their standards and may say, “No.”

I witnessed an amazing balloon sculpture, but the artist revealed it was the seventh version, as the previous six had been destroyed.”I didn’t like them.” Ironically, I do the same thing when making a balloon for a child that doesn’t meet my standards. I tell the child waiting for a balloon; the figure does not meet my standard and, break it and start all over,

This self-imposed standard is good and bad.

Following the creation of a new balloon design, I find myself apprehensive about my ability to replicate it to my accustomed standards. This contemplation has prompted me to consider the role of artwork. Can the inclusion of artwork improve the overall design? It’s plausible that the issue lies not with the design per se but rather with the artwork featured on it.

The designs that stay with me the most are poorly executed, as they can be challenging to replicate. Internally, it’s gut-wrenching to realize that the balloon I’m handing over, even if well-received, falls short of my standard.

Striking the Perfect Harmony of Form and Presentation

Balloon harmony - balloon figures holding hands

Early in my career, I learned that form and presentation were crucial when crafting one-balloon figures. If you failed to lock and twist the bubbles or had insufficient twists (6 to 8) between each bubble, a child’s interaction could swiftly dismantle the balloon animal. As a result, I often found myself fixing balloon animals I had created just three minutes prior.

With a new design, I am unsure whether the design could withstand the wear and tear of child’s play. Would the facial features or limbs need constant adjustment? If so, I might have to rethink the design.

How the balloon is presented dictates details like how many toes, how long to make the arms, and what type of hands. Do I use multiple balloons and colors, or do I use one balloon? All of the options have to be heard to my standards.

Is standing better than sitting when I present the balloon to a child? All these perceptions race through my head and might be why designing new balloon animal figures is so mentally exhausting.

Tips for Evlauated Your Balloon Figure

  1. If you smack the balloon figure against the table or wall or toss it on the floor, how does it hold up to the test? Does it maintain its appearance, require adjustment, or need to be replaced?
  2. When presenting the balloon, is it easily recognizable as the requested animal, or do you need to explain its details or resort to sound effects to enhance the appeal of the animal design?
  3. Can adding artwork elevate the figure, providing a more substantial wow factor?
  4. Do alternating balloon colors for details enhance the overall aesthetic appeal? I’ve noticed in some designs that incorporating multiple colored balloons adds minimal value, leading me to choose not to include additional balloons.
  5. Is the design rhythmic to create, ensuring a smooth workflow for the easy production of the balloon figure? You don’t want to appear like you’re struggling to create the design; instead, you want it to appear effortless.

In 2023, I finally found/developed a dolphin design that meets my standards.

Feel free to express your thoughts in the comments if you found this post enjoyable or would like to engage in discussions with fellow readers. Let’s maintain a respectful conversation and refrain from spamming, as our community values meaningful exchanges.

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Living up to the Mike Homes Standard
Article Name
Living up to the Mike Homes Standard
Explore the world of balloon artistry through the eyes of an artist who sets standards beyond the ordinary. From meticulous design considerations to evaluating the durability of balloon figures, delve into the challenges and triumphs faced in the quest for perfection. Uncover the artist's internal struggles with poorly executed designs and the self-imposed standards that guide their creative process. Discover tips for evaluating and presenting balloon figures, along with insights into the rhythmic creation of designs. Join the artist on a journey that culminates in the development of a dolphin design meeting their exacting standards in 2023.
Publisher Name
DEO Consulting, Inc. AKA Magical Balloon-dude Dale
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2 thoughts on “Living up to the Mike Homes Standard”

  1. My math breaks down similarly as I figure 2 minutes to create a figure, with about a minute of interaction, which calculates 18 kids or less an hour. Like you, using this timetable I can produce a quality 3 balloon figure and have a higher quality standard for each balloon animal.

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