Tabitha Miller says that she has always been a very naturally happy and energetic person who has always enjoyed seeing and making other people happy. However, it wasn’t until 2009 that she decided to make it her job.
After seeing professional face painting at the zoo with her son in 2009, Miller knew this is something she wanted to pursue. She began doing face painting at local parades and traveling to conventions to get professional training. After one of her friends said she’d excel at it, Miller became a clown and a balloon artist named Sparkles the Clown.
After traveling to the World Balloon Convention in 2016, Miller says she saw exactly what large scale professional balloon decor looked like and fell in love.
“This is what I want to do with my life. I want to spread happiness using balloon decor.” Miller said. “[Balloon decor] is amazing, mind blowing. It really transformed the room. It brought tears to my eyes. It was just gorgeous.”
After deciding to take up large scale balloon decor, Miller figured she’d start where the budget is high—car dealerships. Her first client was Frank LeBlanc Toyota, and for their Christmas season, she created massive candy canes and a Santa complete with his own sleigh.
From there her new business Animated Art only grew.
For their 100th year in business celebrations, Community Coffee flew Miller to Dallas and Atlanta to create balloon decor for their various events. One of her favorite decorations for Community Coffee includes 80 foot tall coffee cups that she created in the Raising Cane’s River Center.
Decorating entire venues and being able to transform a space and create a theme is one of Miller’s favorite parts about what she does.
“It’s exciting to me to design and transform a room and to see others’ reactions,” Miller said. “It creates a very memorable event, and it creates really beautiful photo opportunities. Balloons are very versatile in that they can be used at your wedding, your graduation, your birthday, at corporate events, indoors, outdoors.”
Miller’s balloon decor is also a very eco-friendly way to transform a venue with decorations without being a threat to the environment with all of the waste produced.
“Balloons take up a lot of space and they’re very visual, and then when the event is over and you pop everything, you don’t have a lot of waste,” Miller said. “Plus, if it’s latex, it’s 100 percent biodegradable.”
Miller says that with the current helium shortage, it’s important to have a professional artist available to be able to utilize and create balloon decor without the use of helium.