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Apr 29, 2024

Blowing Up! Local Balloon Artist Makes Magic

Cheryl Ricer

Photography By

“I know that what I do elicits emotions,” Ramirez said. “My designs can not only make somebody’s day, but their whole event. My goal is to make people happy and heighten the excitement of the occasion.” 

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Tatiana Ramirez, owner and creator at Ivonel Art, is a nontraditional artist whose work is blowing up – literally and figuratively. A Venezuelan native who previously worked in social communications, she arrived in the U.S. in Orlando, Florida, where a friend introduced her to the art of balloons. 

Tatiana Ramirez, owner and creator at Ivonel Art

“When I became pregnant with my third child, I knew I needed something to do to keep me active, so I started twisting balloons to stay busy,” Ramirez said. “I was twisting balloons for six restaurants in Orlando before COVID hit and everything stopped.”

Then the Ramirezes moved to Hilton Head where Ramirez’ husband, Hernan Boyer – also an entrepreneur – started his own grocery distribution business. Building two businesses during COVID wasn’t easy, but they persevered. Ramirez credits her friends and their referrals for helping her get started. 

“One of the first jobs I got after moving to Hilton Head was through a friend’s referral. I was asked to create balloon art for the birthday of a woman celebrating her 100th birthday,” she said. “Everyone’s reaction to my art was so rewarding and inspiring for me. The birthday ‘girl’ was so happy. It was then when I realized that if I can move that emotion with balloons in a 100-year-old, I can do it for any age and any event.”

More inspired in balloon art than ever, Ramirez signed up for classes and graduated from Decolovers Institute, the first and only educational institution in the balloon industry approved by the Florida Department of Education, with a degree in design and business management. 

Everyone’s reaction to Ramirez’ art is similar. She emphasizes and educates her clients that balloons are not just for children. She decorates entire homes for Christmas, Easter, and Halloween, and creates entire themes for birthday parties, anniversaries, and baby showers, which include centerpieces, gift tables, buffet tables, and backdrops. 

“My art includes lots of details … much more than just round shapes,” Ramirez said. “I twist balloons into different shapes to create visually correct representations of animals, people, words, etc., and work those into all my designs. Most people are familiar with classic balloon art – which I can do if that is what you want. But my specialty is balloon design, which is extremely detailed and artistic.”

While Ramirez’ work is impactful in size and effect, ranging from small centerpieces to huge set-ups, such as towers, arches, gigantic garlands, what she really thrives on is the impact of her work on the people who see it, regardless of age.

For a gentleman’s 70th birthday, his wife asked for a simple balloon bouquet. When Ramirez delivered a huge bouquet featuring his name incorporated into the design, they were blown away. 

“They sent me pictures of him with his face popping out of one of the letters of his name, and the look on his face was priceless to me,” Ramirez said.

Her clients are not only private individuals, but corporate as well. Recently, she created a design for Lucie Mann at Park Place Cinema, who wanted a huge box of popcorn with balloons spilling out. At the grand opening of The Bank Beer Garden a few months ago, she created a huge beer mug that was “pouring out” beer balloons from the ceiling. 

Ramirez has made several displays for the Hilton Head Branch Library. For Easter, everyone loved her rabbit riding on a gigantic carrot. She also works frequently at the Island Rec Center, doing balloon twisting for various festivals and their Summer Jam at Lowcountry Celebration Park.

A local hospital recently changed owners and its name. For their celebration, Ramirez designed several displays to highlight and accentuate the changes. She also designed the stage decorations for the recent Boys & Girls Club of Hilton Head Island Gala at the Westin Hotel. 

“I know that what I do elicits emotions,” Ramirez said. “My designs can not only make somebody’s day, but their whole event. My goal is to make people happy and heighten the excitement of the occasion.” 

The Ivonel Art booking process begins on the website by filling out an inquiry form. Once Ramirez receives the inquiry, she will call the client to interview them regarding the occasion, the size of the space, preferred colors, etc. Within a few minutes, she’ll send a proposal where clients can select all the options they desire, with pricing. A deposit is required upfront, followed by the remainder a week prior to the event. On event day, Ramirez will arrive with most of the work already assembled and ready to be installed. The process is seamless.

Ramirez and her family attend Hilton Head Island Community Church where, during a recent Bible study session, the question was, “Are you living your purpose?” 

“My answer was, ‘God gave me the gift of instilling and evoking joy!’” Ramirez said. “I love making people happy, and I love being a part of this community. My family is blessed, my life is full of creativity, and God is good!”

To “blow up” your next event, visit To experience Ramirez’ work, follow her on Instagram @ivonelart.  

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