Meet Our New Balloon Artistry Tutor: Joanne Higgs

We are delighted to welcome back the award-winning Joanne Higgs to Capel Manor College’s Floristry and Event Styling department. A former student of the College, Joanne has had an impressive career in the balloon artistry industry, and has returned to share her wealth of talent and experience with our students.

Joanne took some time to share her journey within the balloon artistry world with us:

“I studied BTEC Art & Design as a teenager and went on to work as a window dresser. However, after having children I needed a job that worked around my young family.

I returned to college in my late 20s and studied City & Guilds in Balloon Artistry for three years at Capel Manor College. I have always loved being creative and balloon artistry allowed my freedom of expression to flow, and my flair for design to shine in a very new way.

Whilst studying, I entered the first of many international competitions and I set up my business with the help of The Prince’s Trust. In 2004, I won ‘International Balloon Decorator of the Year’ and my career took off.

I taught balloon artistry at Capel Manor College as a tutor from 2002 to 2007. I then moved on to work on industry-based projects and to expand my own events business. I went on to win a further 15 international awards for my creativity with balloons, including ‘International Balloon Decorator of the Year’ again in 2008.

There is a lot that I enjoy about balloon artistry as every day is different and I get to meet new people and make them smile. I am proud of what I have achieved in the industry; it has given me the strength to take on whatever life has thrown at me along with countless opportunities to showcase my design skills. The least enjoyable thing about this profession is that after 23 years of tying balloons my hands sometimes ache!

In the summer of 2022, I saw a vacancy for a part-time tutor at Capel Manor College and I decided to apply. I wanted to return to give something back to the College and students where I myself, started my amazing journey into balloons.

I split my time between teaching, marketing my business and creating designs for clients. Most days include speaking with clients, writing quotes and emails, adding photos or posts to social media, creating balloon designs or teaching.

I love the buzz I get from teaching. I find it a real privilege to be able share my skills and knowledge with others. To give someone else the chances I have had through my career is the best feeling.

For those looking to study balloon artistry, whether you are a school leaver or career changer I say, go for it! I can honestly say that I have loved every minute. If you are artistic, dexterous and keen to please people then this the right career for you. If you want to build a successful business, it is essential to develop your skills to the highest level, and as most balloon artists are self-employed, having self-discipline is necessary in order to be successful.

The balloon industry is full of opportunities, and it is a fun and rewarding sector with countless ways to be creative.

Are you thinking about starting a course in balloon artistry? You can develop your creativity with our range of courses in balloon art and event styling.

Our courses will give you the opportunity to gain nationally and internationally recognised qualifications with the prospect of progressing to further study, higher education, employment, or starting your own business.

View our courses.