DARTA’S ARTICLE >>> Ms. Balloon: Johanna Escobar – The heart and soul behind #WHATSARTCOLLECTIVE

Ms. Balloon believes in GAME as the greatest engine of CREATIVITY and in creativity as the greatest engine of CHANGE. She promotes free and independent collective creation and introduces the #WANY Method as a way of collective creation to generate fresh and alternative content in the creative industry that tends to think traditionally. She is the creator of the Manifesto and of the Creative Soul cards.


Johanna Escobar or Ms. Balloon is a Creative Director, branding consultant and creator of new content. She is a designer, a storyteller and impact communicator. She studied Communication, Advertising and Public Relations at the UAB in Barcelona and specialized in Strategic Planning and Content Management at the Pompeu Fabra University. For years she has been working and collaborating with brands, institutions and initiatives in the creativity sector in Barcelona and has extensive experience in designing educational content for young creatives. She has worked for brands like Cabify, Unicef, Royal Caribbean, Grupo Planeta, Seix Barral, Le Pain Quotidien, Brother (creative school), Vice and Jagermeister. She has been awarded the Young Talent Award from the private Pompeu Fabra Foundation (2014) and she’s also winner of the Jagermeister Design Award (2015). She is the creator and founder of the creation project What’s Art Collective and Creative Director in Ms. Balloon studio.


About Ms.Balloon 

Ms. Balloon or Johanna, as we know her is a true creative with an explosive mind. She generates ideas. That’s just what she does. And it sometimes seems that her mind never ceases to create new ways of expression, and never stops to find new ways of involving people in her game of spontaneous creativity. She truly believes in her methodology and keeps it under great structure, and in a way – that is a testimony that creative energy can be structured in order to set it free.  Her mission is to promote creativity as a mode of change. She is extremely motivated to inspire other female entrepreneurs to enjoy the process of creation and to use that as a means to make their creative process even better. Her immense curiosity has always been the force that launched her into the world of ideas. Johanna is a creative soul that is always in motion: speaking at art clubs and creative festivals, collaborating with Creative Mornings BCN, Cultura Creativa or other organisations and festivals;  heading up her creative consulting and personal brand agency, or just creating for the sake of expressing her own self. 


The Beginning


What or who exactly is Ms. Balloon? And how did this concept get started?

Basically, what I do is think of ideas, and help brands to communicate those ideas through social media. This is how Ms. Balloon was developed. We are a design studio that specializes in creative consulting for brands, but what differentiates us is that we encourage those brands to take risks. We are already in a world saturated with brands and ideas. ‘Every day people are getting up early, writing, creating, making more or less the same content. What they are creating ends up flat, looking and feeling the same. But it’s because they are afraid of taking a risk. I think it’s a risk that differentiates a brand from everyone else. I think taking risks is important, especially for women! It’s important to me to help inspire other female creatives and entrepreneurs, and encourage women to have fun as a means of creativity’. Ms. Balloon’s manifesto is based on my way of life: “Play, Create, Have Fun, Express Yourself, Together.”


Ms. Balloon and What’s Art Collective 

So what is #whatsartcollective? And, how was it developed?


Lately, in my professional career, I’ve been working with a network that helps creatives. I started asking the question: “How do creative minds work?” and in search of an answer to this question, we learned that there was a need to help creatives improve their processes. So I decided to go on a trip to learn more and almost as if by magic, I started meeting more and more people that led me to create a documentary about the “creative soul” about what happens with creatives, and what drives them to create their work. Through the development of the documentary, we began developing a collective methodology for Whats Art New York that is totally new from the industry as we know it today. The WANY Method? There are four basic pillars:Collective creation, Multidisciplinarity, Transversality and Detachment from Knowledge (Anti-conocimiento). With this proposal, we can create content that is fresher and more interesting than what is considered the most traditional content that is out today. “It’s through taking risks that we differentiate ourselves.”

Nowadays, What’s Art Collective is the first initiative in Spain that explores the conflicts of the “creative soul”. It urges artists to create a cultural debate and educate society through workshops, talks and other practices. What’s Art Collective’s mission is to take artists out of their comfort zone to identify problems that can be solved through creativity.


Future Aspirations and Goals 

What would you like to achieve in the next couple of years? What does your heart desire? 

I never had a clear idea about what I want to achieve with What’s Art Collective, I just started the project because I needed to give answers to myself about my own career. I really want to continue creating, I need it. That’s how I work. My next goal is to continue writing my book, where I explain in detail the methods I developed in the last years and the ‘creative soul cards’ app. I think this app will be a fun tool for creatives to play with in the moments of stress or anxiety. The most important thing for me is to make the project sustainable in terms of money. 

I have a lot of plans but lately I have learned that everything changes and we adapt with time. The only thing that should never change is the base: Who are you? What is your purpose? What is your mission in life?…



[This article was written by Dārta Legzdiņa.
Dārta is a visual and audial artist, a creative writer and a translator with a degree in Multimedia Communication from Riga Stradins University. She has worked in PR, entertainment, event management, hospitality and coworking. By being an artist and a singer-songwriter she recognizes the creative threads that guide each creative’s journey. So she is passionate about helping these creatives reach a wider audience.