Jackie Turnquist (Jackie Lynn Creative)


I've long been a fan of Geronimo. You know her, right? She's a West Coast creative who specializes in balloons...and not balloon animals. When I saw Jackie's creations I was so excited because it reminded me of Geronimo's work and more importantly, it's happening right here in Des Moines!

edited for length and clarity

How did you get invovled in balloon artistry? 

This year, I went through a time of being very uninspired, as I focused most of my energy on my job as a social worker. Let’s just say it's a rewarding job that has a very steep emotional learning curve. Adding to that, my sister passed away in April and I needed to find a way to express myself creatively so that I could process my loss. I saw some cool pics {of balloon work) online, bought some material, and got to work.

The entire process - from inflation, color theory, and structuring - came naturally to me, so I decided to start taking courses to become certified in balloon artistry. Plus, it is big time fun! I have two small kids and we get to play with balloons all day, as well as provide joy to others when they experience the balloons at their events. It's the best!

Balloons are very temporary and even the very best end up deflating. Do you enjoy creating with something so temporary?

Absolutely! Every piece fits the space, vibe, mood, and client. There's something special about changing art. You come {to the venue} specifically for that experience and it is enjoyed, processed, and after it's taken down, it still stays in the minds' eye. There's something special to me about creating these large installations only to pop them all and see them fit into a couple handfuls of biodegradable latex. 

What are your plans for Art Week Des Moines?  

The week of Monday, June 18th, I'll be creating an installation piece at the Des Moines Social Club. Then on Saturday, June 23 I plan on creating my largest install to date at MainFrame Studios with a ceiling structure and backdrop. I'm very grateful to have so many blank canvases to work with, especially as a newcomer to the art scene here in town. 

I get the feeling this line of work really helps you express yourself. Would you say that's true?

My style of creativity is very hands-on. For me, building and crafting with my hands is very much like meditating, as it allows me to work through my emotions as I focus on the build. With each balloon installation, I'm given a chance to process whatever is on my mind or on my heart. I always walk away from each installation with more perspective.