What is the Magic of Sand Art Storytelling?

Joe Castillo, NorthCoast 99, sand

Written by Tim Grable

March 13, 2017

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Joe Castillo is the world’s foremost practitioner of sand art storytelling. Combining live performance and visual artistry, Castillo maneuvers granules of sand into a series of stunning images using sand art; as the audience watches, he morphs one image into another, creating a meaningful show that leaves a lasting impression.
What is the Magic of Sand Art Storytelling?

Born in Mexico City, Castillo uses this unique art form in conjunction with bi-lingual motivational speaking to create sand art storytelling. After working for over 20 years in advertising, he now performs all across the globe, entertaining audiences in China, France, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and many other countries. He has also performed at TEDGlobal in Scotland and TEDActive.  Joe Castillo is the first and only Sand Artist to perform on the NBC hit TV Show America’s Got Talent.

Joe Castillo is a master at sand art storytelling

Joe Castillo is a world premier storyteller that uses sand art storytelling as his tool to share your message. Mr. Castillo’s one-of-a-kind performance will keep audiences spellbound and entranced during his animation from beginning to end. His message will captivate the young and old, and his talent is inspiring. His drawings are done on a light table using sand. He can create beautiful illustrations that are projected on a large screen.

Mr. Castillo performed “The Rediscovery of Wonder“at the end of the TEDActive conference. He had performed twice at TEDGlobal and his sand animation was in the PBS documentary, “Turning the Tide”.

If you’re a fan of MMORPG game EverQuest Next, or are unfamiliar with — but want to know more about — the burgeoning creative form of Sand Art and SandStory, the work of artist Joe Castillo will likely move you or your desired audience in ways that are both emotional and cerebral.


Joe Castillo is someone whose work is earning him respect across a sweeping range of platforms — from visual arts to business — as well as a reputation as an excellent performer in his right.  A finalist for America’s Got Talent program, Castillo brings a beautiful tone from his work that has deep ties to the artist’s passion for inspirational speaking. It’s this moral and ethical base to his SandStories that has made his work such a hit with a diverse field of audiences and much like the artists of his birthplace in Mexico City, who revolutionized the art by connecting the personal to the beauty of high culture, Castillo appeals to his audience by understanding their wide range of backgrounds but also their universal values and similarities. This makes for the kind of performance that is not just meant to change the audience’s day for the better, but their life also. Moreover, it is made Castillo’s work a hit, whether it is in front of Presidents, CEOs, or families — there is something for everyone when it comes to the mental landscapes Castillo creates.

Using sand against a lighted background, in this video, for example, notice that Castillo creates a hypnotic experience as he depicts scenes inspired by and directly about EverQuest Next. While based in the game’s universe, the scenes are also distinctly Castillo’s own, and like many artists who show us the world of their imagination, Castillo’s mesmerizing universe is one that becomes distinctly engaging for the viewer as he pulls us into a kind of dreamworld. It is just the kind of exciting world that has drawn in fans to the EverQuest series itself.

Only world-renowned sand artist and story-teller Joe Castillo can give you the art, the imagery, and the experience of being part of the story. Castillo’s deep understandings of the emotional complexities of catastrophic illness become vivid scenes in the video “Giving Life a Second Chance”.

In this performance, astonishing images shaped by the fluid movements of his hands blend in concert with the musical accompaniment for a total effect that is magnificent. A complete master of the art of storytelling, he shows you just how important a health care professional can be when life is almost gone.

Stunning colors choreographed to the dramatic musical score enhance the images Castillo’s hands create with sand. He does more than just tell the story. He brings the story to life. His scenes in “Giving Life a Second Chance” bring you into the heartbreaking experience felt by patients and their families when love is just not enough and medical intervention becomes necessary.

For these reasons, it is a sure bet that Joe Castillo’s art can appeal to many different formats and presentations. With a robust and centered base in both the creative world and in empathy for the audience, it is no secret why Castillo’s performances have been such a success — simply put; it is that his work comes from the heart.

For additional information on booking Sand Artist Joe Castillo call 615-283-0039.

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