The student news site of University of Wisconsin-Platteville.


The student news site of University of Wisconsin-Platteville.


The student news site of University of Wisconsin-Platteville.


Student’s balloon art business booming

Submitted photo
Brian Quinn displays one of his many balloon characters. Quinn began his balloon business, Big Balloon Tycoon, before attending the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. He is pursuing a degree in Computer Science.

Brian Quinn’s dream of working in the balloon business has become a reality.

Quinn, a 21-year-old computer science and business administration major, said his crafting  began at a young age.

“I would sit in front of a Legos kit for hours and do things like build a city out of Legos,” Quinn said.  “I’m just a naturally very artistic person.  Whatever it was that was in my hands, like Legos or arts and crafts or balloons, whatever it was, I’ve always been real artistic.”

Much like his building blocks, each step of Quinn’s life led to something bigger and better.

One of Quinn’s first steps began when he was 9 years old.  His mother bought him a small balloon starter kit.  This was the spark that ignited the entrepreneurial fire inside of Quinn to pursue something he knew he loved and knew he could succeed at.

A few years later, Quinn, his mother, a chef and his father a musician, brought their talents together at a local Fish Fry.  Each had their own booth at the event.

“I had the longest line out of everyone,” Quinn said. “I had all of the kids from the entire event. That’s when I started to accept my role in front of the stage.”

After graduating from Tremper High School, where he played basketball for four years, Quinn went onto study at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

Quinn said he was beginning to accept more responsibility and make important decisions about his future, but he could not let go of his passion for balloon art.

Quinn, with the help of his father, used his talent to begin The Big Balloon Tycoon Company.

“Big Balloon Tycoon was just one name in a pot of six or seven,” Quinn said. “I think Loony Tune Balloon was one, but when he said Big Balloon Tycoon, I said, ‘That’s it.  That’s the one.’”

More goes into the craft than just building a sculpture and selling it to make some money here and there.  Quinn’s art work focuses on  the details.

“I try to break everything down into simple shapes and figure out the basic ways to build those shapes,” Quinn said.  “I’m more about the details than anything else.  I like to include a lot of detail in everything I make.”

He also said that a life size sculpture, whether it is of an animal, a cartoon character or Pioneer Pete, will take him anywhere from two to five hours.

Since starting the business, Quinn has three employees working with him.  They work almost every other weekend for special events or parties.

Quinn’s assistant answer calls and set up events, while his brother Isaac Quinn, a NCAA Division II national champion basketball player for Cardinal Stritch, assists with the planning and preparation.  His other brother Michael assists also helps him create balloon sculptures.

Although Quinn is pursuing a computer science degree,  he said he will never let his passion slip.

Even if the business does not work out, Quinn said still wants Big Balloon Tycoon to be a part of his  life.

“I want Big Balloon Tycoon to be with me the rest of my life.  There are a lot of great relationships that I’ve built over the years, and beyond all the balloons and the business, it’s the relationships and the people I’ve met over the years that have had the biggest impact on my life.”

He has attended a world-class balloon convention where met other talented balloon artists.

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Student’s balloon art business booming