Text read by Mary Peters

Monica, in Dublin, is an artist.

This story started sometime in July or August., when I saw the following advertisement in a Dublin listing:

 “We launched a new product: Fancy Balloon Dresses. It is suitable for all occasions: parties, weddings, hen parties, birthdays, big events, grand openings, celebrations, proms, fashion, shop windows, launching products. Balloon decorations also available. “

followed by the contact details.

And then the pictures. Wow! A wearable dress, beautifully designed for a ball, made completely from balloons. I was stunned by the beauty, attention to detail and the fact, that this dress was on a mannequin, meaning, a woman could actually wear it! Imagine, coming to a party wearing a dress made from balloons. And it is not worn over your normal clothes! The balloon dress is it! Paris haute couture? Eat your hat! Milan? Go to Dublin! New York? You have even more Irish heritage!

I put the listing into the future file and started to think. This was an opportunity not to pass. But how would a person react, when somebody from France, wants to take the balloon idea, and use it for educational purposes, embedded in some obscure project?  I wrote an email, and after overcoming the initial reservations, we talked via WhatsApp video. By now, it was approaching the end of September. 

Monica is a teacher, an artist and a person with unbounding creativity, an entertainer. Born in Romania, she and her family found themselves with an exceptionally talented son and few opportunities to encourage and develop this talent at home. She and her husband rolled the dice and in the early 2000s they ended up living in Dublin. Their son went to university and did his master’s in music. Music being a financially challenging occupation, he decided to do a second masters in computer science.

Monica somehow managed to continue her teaching with special needs children, (children with disabilities), who need extra support. She had done this in Romania, but of course, in Romanian. The English had to be polished and, as anybody knows, setting up life in a different country, even within the EU, is not that easy. But, a positive and fun attitude certainly helps.

We all have seen people make funny animals out of balloons. Tie several balloons together, and bingo, you have a tiger or a clown. Cute! But there is more!

Monica continued to explain to me that a balloon is not a balloon. Aside from your standard balloons which you can buy in a toy shop or arts & crafts stores, there are special balloons. Balloons come in different sizes, thicknesses and lengths. Not to mention colours. But then, as Monica showed me, balloons also come as multi-chambered objects. I saw a balloon with five different chambers. Play with that and a lot becomes possible.

When we spoke, she had started making another dress. I was allowed a glimpse of it. I saw lots of little balloons, blown and tied together in a cylindrical form. Being a night owl, it was being created with Rossini playing in the background.

Where did the idea for dresses come from? During the Spring lockdown, an opportunity presented itself whilst doing an online marketing course. Well, why not? Carpe Diem.  

How does one order a dress? Well, that would really be fun! Monica would love for you to fly her out to your home so that you could have a personalized fitting. The cost may be one thing, the current times another, but the wow-effect? Priceless!

Where does the creativity come from? A recent post on her Instagram page is revealing:

“… I decided I have to see Lion King, the latest version, as my school kids kept talking about for some reason and wanted to hear the song Hakuna Matata, over and over again every time I asked them to choose something…

I haven’t seen this movie until yesterday.

As I was watching, my mind started to wonder…All of a sudden, I stopped the movie and the image frozen on the screen stared at me. I stared back. I took my drawing kit, long left on a shelf and I draw THIS. In 10 minutes. It was sooo relaxing.

The picture is the profile of a very proud lion.

Having imagination, the right mixture of inspiration and most importantly, the ability to see and feel, beyond the end of one’s nose and to combine all that, is not so difficult, as Monica explains:

It is very interesting, how a piece of music, a painting, a paragraph from a book or images and sounds come to one’s mind as a muse. Cinderella’s Ball Gown was an idea that came from an opera by Rossini. I listened to it last weekend and I just wanted to do something special. I hope you like it.

Art, education and having Ubuntu (humanity & sharing) and being Hakuna Matata (do not worry) is always possible. Even in this current climate, which is far from inviting. In the darkest of nights, there are always stars you can look up to.

You can admire Monica’s spirit and work on the following social media channels.

Website : www.showtimeart.com

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/magic.balloons.art.entertaining

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/party_dublin/ & 

It is well worth a look – and, ladies, if you still need something for Christmas or New Year – do not let a pandemic stop you! Ring her before somebody else books.

Do not be surprised if she rides to you on her Harley-Davidson. The one made from balloons, of course!

Could there really be anything else?

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