photo: Masayoshi Matsumoto via Facebook

A staple of birthday parties and summer carnivals, balloon animals come in all species and varieties, but one Japanese artist has taken ballooning to a whole new level of awesome with some incredible gallery-worthy creations.

Masayoshi Matsumoto is a self-taught artist and each of his intricate balloon animals takes a minimum of two hours to build.

He started making his amazing creations over seven years ago, inspired by real wildlife pictures.

For more epic balloon animals, follow Matsumoto on Instagram and Facebook.

What’s the most awesome balloon creation your kid has ever gotten? Tell us in the comments below.