Concept to Reality: The Inflatable Elephant
The Circus inspired Inflatable Elephant: Created January 2020
The Latest Inflatable Creature from the Table Art Design Studio.
Thanks to the enduring popularity of films such as The Greatest Showman and Dumbo. The need for Circus Party Styling is ever present. As a result, MD Gary Martin always keen to build on our expanding range of props to suit. Looking to approach the inflatables in an entirely new way. The key factor being realism.
Often with Inflatable Props, they have a cartoon like feel to them. Rounded shapes and colourful fabrics enhance this characterful look. That can be the desired style, certainly the surreal cartoon look has worked well on concepts like the Dream Circus. The Dream Circus concept sparked interest in inflatable creations in the first place. With the Zebra Print Elephant floating on high with the help of a hot air balloon, it certainly made for a fabulous talking point.
Keen to build on that interest. This time however, with a creation that so realistic, an inflatable elephant that would look like it stepped off the African plain. Research is imperative so Gary took to google and collected the best images he could find of the African Bush Elephant. Combining these with his own sketches, he consulted the design studio and set to task designing a realistic inflatable elephant.
Inside the Design Studio:
CAD here is always vital, with our designers carefully working against real life image references to catch every contour. As you can see from this small selection of graphics, the design is so complex, the man hours involved are eye watering. Once the CAD drawings we approved, we went onto the fun part.
Materials and prints signed off and the beast started to be constructed. As with any project, the team had to tackle some development issues. First and foremost, the problem in replicating the wrinkled skin of the elephant. First plan of action – to commission a fabric with the wrinkles printed directly onto it. Unfortunately, this gave a flat look. This took some weeks to resolve but working with a local Graffiti Artist. The team combined a loose second skin over the elephant with the paint effects provided by the artist. With contour shading in the highest quality paints, the graffiti artist brought the elephant to life! The key features of the African Bush Elephant the Trunk and Ears. It became imperative that we got those features accurate. That is why the team constructed a second skin for those elements. That careful consideration and development has led to a creature that is scarily realistic!
Having started the project in the late August of 2019, such a thrill to see the concept brought to life in the New Year. The team are so dedicated that Gary and Joe worked tirelessly over the Christmas Break to ensure they completed the inflatable elephant. The effort paid off tenfold, with the Elephant having made its debut in the late January. Thanks to a booking by Beyond Certainty, the Elephant made it’s first outing on a Philias Fogg themed party. You aren’t seeing double. We have a veritable family of elephants now. Once we got the first one successfully made, we went onto create a duplicate and a smaller scale one to match.
The Event Production Show:
The family of inflatable elephant props went onto to attend the Event Production Show 2020 – a real talking point for attendees. The stand, abuzz with enquires for these beauties. We are excited to get them out again towards the end of the year.
We all know that the pandemic is causing havoc for all those in the event industry. Subsequently, that’s why we feel it’s important to keep positive! With our MD doing a weekly update, we hope to keep the event communities’ spirits up. Taking a moment to celebrate our creative team is certainly something that helps keep us smiling. We hope you have enjoyed taking a moment to read this design tale from the studio.