sand animation video

Welcome!

It's been more than 8 years since I launched my sand animation business, back in February 2011, and so much has happened since then...

I've created over 85 custom sand animations for corporate and private clients. I use a light box, sand, and my hands to create emotional stories synched to a unique musical soundscape, which are simultaneously projected large screen for live audiences to experience.

I've done animations for Cirque du Soleil, MTV News, Travel & Leisure, Doodle 4 Google, GE Healthcare, Samsung, TBS Network and many more. I've performed at amazing venues, like Caesar's Colosseum in Las Vegas, The Fillmore in Philly, The Smithsonian in D.C. and Jazz at Lincoln Center, here at home in NYC. I've traveled to international locations, like Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Playa Del Carmen, Montréal and all over the USA. I've performed at events featuring: Jordin Sparks, Brené Brown, John Mayer, Wynton Marsalis and The Roots.

It's been a very exciting journey and I'm really looking forward to sharing more here with you. I've re-posted some of the best blogs from my old website, and will continue sharing new things here too. So... Stay Tuned! Thanks for visiting. I look forward to creating a custom sand animation just for you.

Watch my sand art VIDEOS!

Sand Artist | Charlene Lanzel

Sand Artist | Charlene Lanzel

Wedding Sand Art

Add special uniqueness to your wedding reception or dinner. Sand animation is a new, different and exciting way to tell your love story...

Sand Artist | Charlene Lanzel creates a memorable sand art story just for you, which adds a luxury element to your wedding event. Include portraits and shared experiences drawn in the sand, performed to a custom musical soundscape. Your love story comes alive with this unique live animation!

Charlene offers 3 options for live wedding sand art to suit your budget: Ambient, Combination (or) Bespoke.

1) 10 minute Live AMBIENT WEDDING: This is the most economical option. Charlene performs a love story from her stock animation “Love & Nature” with the characters personalized to look like the wedding couple. (2-3 weeks lead time)

2) 10 minute Live COMBINATION WEDDING: This is a popular option. Choose scenes from Charlene's stock imagery storyboards. Did you meet at the beach, city or countryside? Choose your scenery, choose from personalized wedding scenes, and add a sentiment at the end. (2-3 weeks lead time)

3) Live BESPOKE WEDDING: This is the best option. Use your imagination! Tell your completely customized story in sand with scenes of your choice, including: portraits, beautiful scenes, memorable experiences, and more. At least 7 minutes custom animation is recommended to tell your story. (3+ weeks lead time)

Charlene's sand art can be performed LIVE at your reception or dinner...

and/or

4) a SAND ART VIDEO of an Ambient, Combination (or) Bespoke animation can be created for large screen viewing at the event. An HD digital video file (.mp4) of your sand animation includes a custom musical soundtrack which synchs with the artwork.

Please provide all information for the project at least 2-3 weeks prior to the performance or date needed. A signed contract, along with 50% deposit, are required to hold your date and start your custom project, prior to the 2 week deadline.

Choose a sand color to match your wedding theme! 

PICK (1) COLOR: White, Gold, Pink, Red, Cran, Purple, Blue, Aqua or Green…

ADD a SPLASH of a 2nd color!

Sand_colors_CharleneLanzel_sandartist copy.jpg

Reserve Charlene today for your wedding video or event!

Sand Art Music Video

Check it out! Here’s a collaboration I did with the British alternative rock band, Gene Loves Jezebel, for their latest single, “Izitme”. I hope you enjoy it… it was fun to create.

Lightworker

I am a Lightworker… and I’m on a mission to brighten your world.

I devote myself to being a bright and shining, unique flavor of light. I work for the purpose of the greater good, keeping the highest interest of all beings in mind. I embody light, peace and truth to uplift humanity with a compassionate heart.

My desire is to produce positive messages, spread wisdom and warm people’s spirits. I hope to usher in a wave of positivity, love and joy. I reach out into dark corners to gain perspective, then dig through the shadows to help find inner light. 

The sand artist’s light box dream world gives us an incredible opportunity for growth and learning, to manifest positive changes and to shine light on new ideas. 

Light is an ever changing and mysterious medium. It is energy, a wave, a pulse and a spectrum. It is invisible, yet makes everything visible. Light has the power to change our perceptions, creating focus while supporting activity. Light helps the world heal and transform. 

Raise the vibration of the planet by being a conduit of light. Embody your authenticity. Use your thoughts to create a positive reality that makes a shining statement. 

Add light to your world!

Sand Artist | Charlene Lanzel

Sand Artist | Charlene Lanzel

Birth of a Sand Artist

People often ask me how I got into making sand animations. It probably started for me in childhood, before I ever thought about a career in the arts...

I loved to watch PBS programs, particularly because of the artistic content. As a child, I loved all things art related. On Sesame Street, I saw an animation of two sand men throwing a sand ball back and forth on a light box. There was also a sand alphabet animated on Sesame Street. I was fascinated. In the summertime, on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River, I would draw images in the sand, and wipe them away, trying to mimic those animations. I closed my eyes and faced the sun... and wished I could draw in the sand forever.

Later, I enjoyed watching International Film Festival animations on PBS. Every year the winners in the short animation category were broadcast. I loved watching them over and over. I told my mother I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. I dreamt that I lived in New York. I started making flip book animations. 

Charlene Lanzel_childhood.jpg

I did become an artist when I grew up. I moved to New York City and found work creating window displays and also painting murals. I learned as I went along. Eventually, I landed jobs as a mural painter on big projects both nationally and internationally. I really enjoyed the work. I became very good at lettering and sign painting as well, which became useful skills later on.

While on a scaffolding, working on a large scale mural, I had an accident. I suffered from a head injury. A week later 9/11 happened. I needed something to ease my physical and emotional pain. I was out of commission for awhile healing, and feeling very vulnerable, so I started studying Buddhism. 

An artist friend of mine recommended a video to me that she had seen on something new called the internet. We had been talking about the Buddhist concept of impermanence and ephemeral art. It was a live animation by a Hungarian artist. He was creating sand animations on a light box, but as a live performance. An electric shock went through my body... I remembered how much I loved those animations from my childhood, and I had a flash vision of myself up there doing the performance. I had goosebumps. I watched it over and over.

As the internet grew in popularity, and YouTube came along, I saw a Ukrainian girl's sand animation performance getting passed around on Facebook. I started wondering if this art form was something for me to try.

Time passed, and the economy collapsed. Mural painters were out of work, due to advances in digital technology and the trend of minimalism. I needed something new to do. A co-worker mentioned sand animation and how desirable the art form was becoming. I decided in that moment to give it a try. I knew I had the skills necessary and I liked the idea of working with technology.

I spent a year researching, watching sand animation videos, and trying many different materials. I built my own sand table in my studio. It took me several months just to learn to move the sand. I also had to learn digital editing for music and film. It was a difficult process and I almost gave up. But, eventually, with a lot of practice and some patience, I created my first sand animation video and put it up on YouTube. A week later I was scouted to perform for the opening night after party for Cirque du Soleil's Zarkana show at Roseland in New York City.

The rest is history...