Moving Sand Art from Sand Artist Joe Castillo that will Inspire

Joe Castillo

Written by Tim Grable

November 8, 2017

Need corporate entertainment ideas?  Joe Castillo and Sand Art is a new and exciting combination.    This World-renowned painter and performance artist has created a medium he likes to call the SandStory. Using nothing but his hands and grains of sand on a light table, Joe creates images that tell a story in real-time, sharing not only his skills as an artist but his unique vision, as well.

sand artist, sand art, joe castillo

The art of storytelling is a powerful force that has been uniting people for centuries. Beautiful, moving sand art is a unique and memorable way to tell a story and adds a vivid visual element to any special event entertainment.  A sand artist uses their creative energy, storytelling talent, and handfuls of sand to spontaneously create a narrative that convey the impact of the story in a compellingly way. Moving sand painting is created by an artist using loose sand scattered over a light table to create images and scenes, which can be projected large onto a wall or screen so that large audiences can enjoy the message being created before their very eyes. Using only their hands and fingers, sand artists skillfully manipulate sand to display and destroy images within a matter of minutes, for an always changing and evolving the visual story. This unique art form is captivating and mesmerizing to watch, and booking a performing artist for your special event is a great way to share an unforgettable message with your audience through pictures and music rather than words.

Sand animation is unlike any drawing board animation you may have ever experienced before. Joe Castillo does much more than fill in lines on a blank canvas. The artist here is using the medium (sand) to reshape, move around, and redesign various pictures. This adds an element of mystery as the drawing is revealed. The public has had a personal invitation to follow along as the story is being told. They patiently wait to see with much excitement the artist’s next movements.

Moving Sand Art from AGT Sand Artist

Using the sand as an art form is as old as dirt. The most recent form of sand animation that has gained in recent popularity makes use of a light table, musical accompaniment, and no other tools than the artist’s hands to tell stories. The world’s premier Sand Animation performer and Sand Story Artist is Joe Castillo. Born in Mexico City, Mr. Castillo’s background in art studies and theology have culminated in his prominence as a motivational performing artist. Using his form of sand art as a unique form of meaningful expression, he delivers his messages that more often than not move audiences to great emotions. Remarkably, Mr. Castillo can grab the viewer right from the start as the imagery he creates morphs into each chapter of his SandStory. Anyone who has watched a performance would agree his SandStories are intriguing, engaging, and fascinating. It is no surprise that his inspirational messages have established his global reputation as a master at his craft.

Never Forget

Created as a memorial for the tragic events of September 11, 2001, this stunning sand story paints vivid tableaus of the shocking attack on 9/11 and the brave men and women who came together to heal the wounds of a nation. In the 15-minute performance, the artist captures the raw emotion and lasting impact of this historic day.

Children’s Gala

Presented as a fundraising charity event for children’s health, this musical performance uses the delicate and transient nature of sand to show how the illness of a child can devastate families. This powerful piece is a moving plea for assistance in the fight against childhood diabetes, cancer, and other diseases that affect children and families everywhere.


Set to the songs from the musical based on Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s book, this spirited performance brings Matilda to life. In another fluid depiction of the story in images appearing before your eyes, Joe Castillo performs “Matilda” after the Roald Dahl story that was made into a film as well as a Broadway Musical. Watch as he uses his artistic genius to bring the tale to life with enchanting detail in marvelous transitions.  Moving sand animation can be used to tell almost any story through pictures, right before the watching eyes of a surprised and delighted audience. Because of its versatility and spontaneous nature, the sand story is excellent for groups of all ages.

SandStory Magic

The beauty of sand painting can bring joy and wonder to vast and diverse audiences. The purely visual narratives told by sand story transcend even language barriers, sharing a story that everyone can understand. Sand art can tell an elaborate tale, convey an important idea, or share beautiful and straightforward images of peace and love portrayed in this performance.

Take a breath and be prepared for a beautiful experience of an artful intrigue of the sands of time. Castillo brings an array of control and talent within his hands. The actual tools used to create wonderful masterpieces are these very skilled hands. These unique and always original presentations are etched in the sand. Mr. Castillo is a renowned sand artist with competent visual storytelling know-how. He takes the symbol of time and uses as the medium of his creative work creating the sands of time using sand animation.

The Sands of Time

In each stage of work in his creative process, the most significant aspect of intrigue is the inevitable story that will be told. As the traveling sand animation found on the beach, these sand works of art are always a vividly moving combination of awe and attraction. They are a traveling journey that begins in one realm to end in another place of powerful love. This living awe is created through a step by step experience where his viewers watch a form or landscape take place from a clear canvass to a wondrous tale.

As each evolving image is made, destroyed and at times recreated to a glorious ending, they are accompanied by a powerful musical ensemble that vibrates well into the deep spaces of the human soul. Together, the sounds and images are invigorating, delightful, and compellingly hard to escape an emotional response as the message being told understood on all levels of human thought and clear understanding.

These moving images of an artist caught and captured in the moments are hard to impersonate. What appears is a real sense of honest communication that is appreciated by great anticipation of what will come next. Is it love, a serene scene, or destruction from one of life’s random occurrences that throw sand in all directions?

Only time can tell, and that is actually what is replicated: time, so each moment portrays the immediate skill and expertise of a virtuoso in the moment of now.

Mercedes Benz

Joe Castillo is a premier artist in the field of sand art and sand animation, a medium that he all but invented himself. Castillo’s sand animation is exactly what it sounds like it is: images drawn in the sand.  Here is an example of him drawing the Mercedes Benz Logo in the sand.

He is capable of drawing amazingly detailed images in the sand, and in his one-of-a-kind sand animation performances he is capable of telling entire stories with pictures that he continually draws and redraws with amazing speed and detail. Thousands have seen Castillo’s unique performance art of people, and now it is being used in a SandStory presentation for 300 Mercedes Benz dealers in Beijing, China.

The short video shows Joe Castillo doing what has made him famous. As brassy, energetic jazz music plays, we see Castillo begin with a familiar blank “canvas” of sand on a screen. Over the course of the video, he shifts the sand around and draws the familiar image of a Mercedes Benz automobile. The crystal-clear Mercedes Benz Logo is meticulously drawn with fantastic speed and is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on any would-be Mercedes Benz consumers.

Apple Computer

Castillo often performs live in front of an audience where his table is projected on a large screen; the performance was undertaken to music to create a combination of sensual perceptions like any other. The art is in the process even more than the finished product. Watch as Joe brings to life a slice of modern Americana: an Apple Store filled with the typical hustle and bustle that company’s ardent followers bring to each location.

God Bless the USA

The powerful images created by sand artists can drive the message home more precisely and powerfully than mere words. A picture is worth 1000 words, and these are always changing, and evolving sand pictures can take a presentation to an emotional height that words cannot match.  He uses his storytelling skills by creating stunning visual imagery to “Proud to Be an American” by Lee Greenwood.

He uses his hands as tools to create art in the sand. During this performance, Castillo creates imagery that depicts patriotism in America and soldiers in the war. He concludes by creating a picture of the Statue of Liberty in the sand.

The elements of moving sand art are simple enough: a handful of scattered sand, a light to shine through it and create shadows, the artist’s hands. However, the powerful messages and stories that can be told in the sand are intricate and endless. Reach audiences of any age, language, or culture with the beautiful story of sand animation.

The Best SandStory Videos

Joe’s skills took him to “America’s Got Talent,” where he was an instant hit. He left with an excellent fifth place finish. The spotlight has made Joe a well-known performer, loved by many around the world.

Joe’s skills easily translate into the teaser trailer for “Atlas Shrugged 3, Who is John Galt.” The epic mood of the film is presented in under one minute, leaving the viewer wanting more. These skills can be used to promote any film or stage event.

Using the song, “Dear World,” this video shows a performance that dives into the deeper issues of life, death, and our world. He uses the music and the sand to bring the audience closer to the profound emotional aspects of life while still awing the crowd with his artistry.

“What a Wonderful World” was featured on The Huckabee Show. Using the classic song, Joe reminds us that this is a beautiful world and leaves the viewers refreshed. This kind of performance would be a valuable addition to any event, large or small.  With Kenny G.’s version of the classic song, What a Wonderful World, playing in the background, Castillo illustrates the lyrics as he swirls sand across a sandbox. Projected onto a screen, viewers engage with the song from beginning to end, captivated by Castillo’s ever-changing pictures as they morph from one element into another. The soft, colored lights of his light board enhance the images of the sun, moon, flowers, and rainbow.  While language barriers are often an issue for storytellers, who tour the world, his medium, as you will see in the video of What a Wonderful World, transcends language and unifies international audiences in its ever-changing beauty.

From the captivity to freedom, “Feeling Good” inspires the audience to move, to dream, and to push past what’s holding them back from their dreams. Through the steps of the civil rights movement and Joe’s talent, were transported to another time and place.  Joe illustrates his love for humanity in this simple but intriguing work. Adding a jazzy tune that personifies the piece’s theme, Joe clearly understands and shows what ‘feelin’ good’ is like.

Ronald McDonald House, in an inspiration in itself serving to support families with their home-away-from-home during challenging times. Providing the stability that allows relatives to be with a beloved child during treatment in the hospital provides for more meaningful connection without the stress of accommodations at such a time. Another inspirational SandStory gives a glimpse of the symbolism that is Ronald McDonald House.

Joe Castillo derives inspiration for his sand art from some of the most touching moments in life. His portrait of Lindsey Norton is no less inspirational. The 16-year-old, like most of America remembers, is a contestant from America’s Got Talent, Season 7, when she competed as an individual gymnastic dancer. Though she may not have captured the win for the season, she certainly captured the hearts of Americans with her enthusiastic personality. This rendering demonstrates how Castillo, a finalist on the same talent show of another season, meticulously strives for realism in an art form that, by his unique skill, delivers surprisingly amazing detail.

Audiences of all ages will be encouraged by the message in Joe’s performance to “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction. The video also provides fun promotion for the band and the song. This method could bring your product to the attention of new customers.

Often, an event is merely an event; the entertainment is good, but there’s nothing innovative or unique happening. It takes something awe-inspiring to bring event entertainment to the next level. The extraordinary talent becomes immediately apparent and keeps the audience mesmerized from the very beginning. This much more than a spectacular entertainer; he is an imaginative, creative spirit who shares his passion on stage.

Jose Castillo is a sand artist and unique in the world of entertainment. He creates beautiful sand art that is magnified on a large screen. Incorporating evocative music that complements the theme of each art piece, Joe draws from history, contemporary society, and his heart to create magnificent works and experience the audience never forgets. He shared his remarkable gift on America’s Got Talent and walked away with the respect of millions.

Amazing Stories from the Joe Castillo

Sand Art Stories by Joe Castillo the Sand Art Guy

Photo courtesy of W. Scott Mitchell Photography LLC

A day on the beach is just that, a day at the beach! However, when you’re sifting your toes through it, or vigorously shaking it from your beach towels, you hardly stop for a minute to think about the artistic capabilities of sand. You never ponder the potential of the loose, granular brown dust around you. Your mind will change that and blow your mind in using sand animation.

Castillo doesn’t only use sand to create astonishing images; he uses it to tell sand art stories that have been seen on all seven continents. Conducting this unique medium of sand as a maestro does a symphony, Joe creates fluid, visionary murals that ignite the imagination, and pacify the soul. Joe Castillo was a finalist on the 7th season of America’s Got Talent along with William Close, The Untouchables, Tom Cotter, David Garibaldi, and Olate Dogs. Breathing life into the morsels which comprise our Earth, SandArt takes you on a journey with sand art stories, an adventure you have to experience to comprehend genuinely.

Sow Love


Exploring our connection to the Earth, and to each other, the landscape is birthed and then re-imagining to remind us of the true essence of life. The circle of existence is animated before our very eyes, as Joe Castillo effortlessly broadcasts the wonders of our world using sand animation.

Everquest Next SandStory

Imagine for a moment that hieroglyphics could awaken from the cage of their walls and recount their tale with vivid and spell-binding authenticity. The Sand Art Guy possesses this power, impossibly breathing to life the epic “Founding of Qeynos,” during the Age of Enlightenment.

Silent Planet

Plucking at our heartstrings, Joe Castillo’s “Silent Planet” not only serves as a reminder of what we have lost, but also what is at stake. Stunning yet distressing, gorgeous and poignant, “Silent Planet” serves as an emotional campaign for real change and accentuates the true power of art.  Our planet has undoubtedly undergone unspeakable assaults, especially from the perspective of the wild animals that have no voice in their lifetime on earth. There is as much concern today as there has ever been about the extinction of species and the killing off of animals that have every right to share their existence on this planet. Once again, the Sand Art guy matches music with a message and uses his amazing artistic skill to deliver a message with impact.

GMC Sierra

Too often, we take automobiles for granted. We fail, in our everyday lives, to ponder their catlike quickness, their lion-like strength, and their bronco-like burst. The artist reminds us of the prowess of the automobile, and of what matters most – the safety of those within it.

Literature, film, oil on canvas – all capable means of which stories are passed down through generations by artists. However, they are far from the only vehicles of folklore, and Joe’s gift in such a wondrous and unusual medium of Sand Painting remains awe-inspiring and inspiring.

Make Your Event Special With Popular Joe Castillo Videos

The legacy of Jackie Robinson

Typical of SandStory, one never knows what the result is going to be until the artist has completed his piece. In this provocative performance created for ESPN, Joe utilizes his fingers to create an atmosphere of reverence for the legendary baseball hero, Jackie Robinson. Joe’s evident respect and admiration for Robinson shines through.

Circle of Life / God Bless the USA

America is more than an idea, and most poignantly put, America is people. Also, many of those people risk and give their life for the right to live as we do. This concept is brought home with moving fortitude, as the artist builds to an exciting and unanticipated grand finale.  In this beautiful pastiche, Joe creates many fascinating images, clearly recognizable and lovely, combining two themes to create a spectacular showcase of Joe’s talents. This is one of the most popular SandStory videos; it is easy to see how this form of art touches the hearts of audiences.

New York Knicks

In this delightful piece performed live at Madison Square Garden, Joe plays directly to the audience, creating a sand artwork celebrating the New York Knicks. Joe’s versatility is demonstrated here as he not only captures the excitement of basketball but also relates to the city of New York. The audience loves it.

Joe Castillo is essentially a compelling storyteller. As he moves his fingers through the sand, he weaves enchanting stories. In so doing, he inspires the audience, appeals to their imagination, and touches their heart with his impeccable talent for capturing the essence of his subject matter.

With only a light table, sand and music, Joe creates a new world with his artistic skills. His presentations can be projected onto a screen to allow even large audiences a perfect view of his show.  Castillo creates masterpieces by bringing any story or subject to life. His hands move sand into position, drop more where it is needed, and, using his fingers as brushes, tell a story with a fluidity that leaves one breathless. When the animation ends and the sand is dispersed, Castillo gives the impression of blowing sand. It waits for the next breeze of his hands to send it swirling into the new patterns and images of the following story.

Joe Castillo and Sand Art is Unique Corporate Entertainment

This artistry is attractive because it sends a message that makes a connection. As the premier sand animator in the world, he has created a unique and innovative way to communicate with audiences on a global scale. The combination of color changes in the background lighting and well-placed shading creates a masterpiece that fuels the imagination. The audience is pulled directly into the action that is happening. This dynamic visual display of Joe Castillo and Sand Art is only complimented by an emotionally stirring musical score that highlights each artistic movement.

These movements will allow your audience to follow along as your message is shared through breathtaking vistas and pics. Nowadays, there is a new way for you to draw them in whether for entertainment, commercial enterprise, or education. When you affect their imagination, you will also affect their motivation toward action. It has been proven that people are motivated by what they see. More than anything, what you teach them is what will leave the most lasting impression. So, the question is, what will you teach them?

There is something to be said of artistic expression joined with the ability to tell a story. This combination is sure to affect the views and opinions of those with whom it is being dealt with. This is unlike what you’ve done before. Now you can tell your story through sand animation. It is time to take your group presentation, business event, or team building activity to the next level. Show that you are a step ahead and involve them in your progress by revealing this phenomenon. What you have observed are tiny grains of sand coming together to tell a wonderful tale of triumph. What is the story you have to share with your audience?

These YouTube videos provide a sampling of what he offers as an entertainer and performing artist.  Joe Castillo is available to create unique SandStory performances for use in commercials, marketing materials, and other business needs. His vision brings something unique and different to the table, mesmerizing in its simplicity of form yet sophisticated beauty.  He is the only Sand Artist that can customize his craft to any business marketing goal or a specific event. Joe is an artist, author, and storyteller with a passion for promoting a corporate message using the visual arts as a way of touching the heart.  He has inspired millions of people through his Sand Animation.  From promotional events to authentic storytelling, his talent is unique and delivers a memorable performance.  Consider hiring Joe for your next virtual event and wowing your crowd by telling stories in the sand.

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