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Kellie Batangan is our Featured Artist for February 2007

Featured Artist: Kellie Batangan

February 2007

The Better Holes and Garbage Featured Artist for February is Kellie Batangan, a balloon artist from Texas who shared her wonderful creations with the Ratlist.

BHG
So how long have you been into rats?

Kellie
About.. three years? Yeah, three years sounds good. I lived in Colorado and one of my roommates had pet rats and I was like 'aww, they're cute' and basically it was his fault.

BHG
So you have someone else to blame for that.

Kellie
Yes. I was never really a rat person until I went to college and my roommate had two male PEWs. They were lovable and I was like "I'm going to get my own." That's how it started.

The artist in balloon form
BHG
When you first saw the rats did you like them immediately?

Kellie
I immediately took to them. My oldest rat right now is my boy rat. I've had him about two and a half years now. He's my buddy. He's a big squishy guy.

BHG
How many do you have right now?

Kellie
Right now I have five.

BHG
Male or female?

Kellie
They all live together but one is male, and four are female.

BHG
When did you get into balloon animals?

Kellie's Original Balloon Rats
Kellie
Well balloons were supposed to be just a summer job. I'm actually trying to go into nursing, but yeah, I pretty much enjoyed it. My boss taught me basically everything. I asked if he could teach me to do rodents and he's like "I know how to do a mouse." So I had to teach myself.

BHG
What did you base the rat off? Was there a specific animal that it was built off from?

Kellie
Yeah, there were certain animals/techniques that my boss taught us. Like the rat hat was supposed to be a dog and it turned into a rat. I don't know, it's really fun.

BHG
And what do other people think of the rats?

Kellie
People see the balloons and say "Oh, that's a cute mouse!" And I'm like "No it's not, it's a rat."

BHG
*laugh* It's always cute when it's not a rat.

A blue balloon rat
Kellie
My favorite balloon to make is that huge rat hat. I wear it around the restaurant and basically I'm the informative of rat people. People are like "There's a rat on your head," and I'm like "I know, isn't he cute?"

BHG
So you are known as the girl with the rat balloons?

Kellie
Basically yes. I don't have a problem with that.

All text, images, and content copyright Lori Weeder 2006 unless otherwise noted.