Macy’s Parade Balloon
Macy’s Parade Balloon

Possibly the proudest moment in my career. Back in 2011, Macy’s introduced a brand new campaign contest that invited guests to find a blank vinyl toy of an elf hidden somewhere in their Macy’s department stores. Once found, the guest may take it home and decorate it in whatever they wanted.

After a nationwide hunt through incredibly artistic submissions stemming from Alaska to Florida, I discovered my entry had the most votes in a worldwide poll. My elf became the winning design of the first-ever Macy’s Great American Elf Adventure. It was the first time I felt truly accomplished as an artist. Seeing it transformed by the artists at Macy’s Parade Studio onto a 34 foot-tall balloon that joined the 85th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a day I will never forget.

The backstory behind Gazer’s design goes as follows:
When not flying down the streets of Manhattan, Gazer helps fulfill the wishes of thousands of children that visit Santa Claus at Macy’s Herald Square in New York City each year. Once a wish is whispered to Santa Claus, it becomes a star which Gazer then guides safely to the North Pole, so that each wish becomes a reality.

Gazer’s design was inspired by the story of R.H. Macy who chose Macy’s famed star emblem after a fateful fishing trip that found him lost at sea. Mr. Macy credited the North Star with guiding him safely back to shore and so he made it the trademark of his New York City store. Aside from the prominent star on his hat, other elements of the design include the shape of the moon on Gazer’s face, the New York City skyline on his feet, and the wishing star trail that wraps around his body.