Saturday Surprise — Creativity!

I couldn’t decide on which of two things to do for today’s Saturday Surprise:  balloons or sand.  So, I decided to give you a taste of both!


Andoni Bastarrika discovered his talent ten years ago, in the summer of 2010 while at the beach with his two daughters.  He was playing around, trying to sculpt from sand a little mermaid for his girls, when he discovered he had a gift for sculpting with sand, a unique fluidity of his hands.  Says Bastarrika …

“They knew what they were doing. I devoted myself to developing this gift and have spent the last 10 years doing just that.  The sand fascinates me because no matter how you look at it, it will always teach you things if you are willing to learn. In order to create a sculpture, an unthinkable number of sand particles participate, hugging each other tightly through humidity, so that someone could model their union. And once the artist steps back, its piece will remain at the mercy of nature, meaning that sooner or later the wind will dry them up and release each particle, slowly consuming all the individuality and authenticity.”

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“The time it takes to create one piece largely depends on its size. The elephant, for example, took me 2 days, while the horse and the bison took 12 hours each. The dogs, which were smaller, needed about 6 to 8 hours.”

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“There are a lot of reasons why I like to make animal sculptures as well, but one is the fact that animals are free spirits. Humans can reflect and learn from them.”

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Now, those of you who say you’re bored these days, being confined to quarters with nothing much to do, here’s something for you to spend some time on … balloon art!  We’ve all been to a fair or street carnival where there’s a man blowing up narrow balloons and turning them into rather simplistic dogs, or other critters, but Japanese artist Masayoshi Matsumoto has taken balloon art to a whole new level.

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Like the sand artist Bastarrika, Mr. Matsumoto has been perfecting his craft for about ten years now.

“My creations are one hundred percent balloon-only. I don’t use any adhesive, marker pens, or anything else.”

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“A lot of my work revolves around nature because I’ve been fascinated with it since I was very young.”

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Matsumoto says his sculptures aren’t products of spontaneity; they’re the offspring of careful and deliberate planning. Once he’s done designing a particular piece, Matsumoto usually spends 2-5 hours blowing and twisting the balloons.

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Okay, folks, get some balloons and let’s see what you can do!  I’ll feature any and all pictures that you guys send me … c’mon … you can do it!


Okay, friends, time for you to get to those weekend chores … mowing the yard, and after all of last week’s rain, the gutters probably need cleaning!  Whatever you do this weekend, keep safe and find time to enjoy life.

34 thoughts on “Saturday Surprise — Creativity!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Your post definitely gave me some food for thought! And for the record, in case you ever need to know, I like the dark chocolate with cream or caramel centers 😉

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  1. “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” – Albert Einstein. If Einstein is to be believed, then these two artists should be positively euphoric. Looking at Bastarrika’s amazing sand sculptures, I cannot help but think about The International Sand Sculpting Festival. ISSF annually takes place the last weekend in July at Revere Beach in Revere, Massachusetts for what this year will be ( though it appears unlikely at present) the 16th year. Revere Beach is America’s first public beach that was established in 1896. For many many years the beach was a popular destination, but over time people stopped coming and the beach slipped into decline. In 2001 a group of concerned citizens formed a committee to save the beach in what became the Revere Beach Partnership. They raised money and brought the beach back to its earlier glory and continue by holding various activities such as ISSF. The Master Sand Sculpting Competition is a 3 day festival with 15 world renowned sand sculptors competing for the 1st Place Sculpture. There is a large centerpiece sculpture that is all of the sculptors collaboration on a centralized theme for the year. This festival has drawn as many as 1 million people (2018) and is the largest free event in all of Massachusetts. It includes live-music, fireworks, amusement rides and an interactive children’s play zone. Food is available from a Food Truck Village that offers cuisines from all around the world…so good! It is a marvelous adventure for “children” of all ages! Love the balloons too, Benjamin and I follow Matsumoto on Instagram. Thank-you!

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    • I did a post about a year ago on Sandfest in Port Aransas, Texas, that I think you may have missed, for I just checked and didn’t see any comment from you. https://jilldennison.com/2019/05/11/saturday-surprise-sandfest/ But, I wasn’t aware of the International Sand Sculpting Festival in Massachusetts. If they have it this year, please let me know and I’d love to do a post about it! It sounds rather like the Texans’ Sandfest. And why am I not surprised that you and Benjamin had already discovered Masayoshi Matsumoto??? 😊 Hugs to you both!!

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  2. I couldn’t blow up a balloon anymore, even one someone else had blown up before and deflated. As for sand art, it’s cool, but again not something I could do. I look at a sandy beach, and I see “A Sandy Beach,” sculpted by Mother Nature over a billion-year period.

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    • I’m with you on both counts … some people are naturally artistic, while others of us are sorely lacking in that area. However, we can still enjoy the works of those who are …

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