storytelling

Welcome!

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

I've created more than 80 custom sand animations for corporate and private clients. I use a light box, sand, and my hands to create emotional stories synched to a musical soundscape, which are projected large screen for live audiences to experience.

I've done animations for Cirque du Soleil, MTV News, Travel & Leisure, Doodle 4 Google, 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 posting new things here too. So... Stay Tuned! Thanks for visiting. I look forward to creating a custom animation 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!

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Reserve Charlene today for your wedding video or event!

Projection Art

Sand animation is a form of live projection art, which utilizes a glass top table illuminated from beneath. Above the table is an overhead camera, connecting to a high power projector and screen system, providing both entertainment and instruction for today’s modern audiences. 

While exploring some links between old and new formats, from the Camera Obscura to today’s digital technology, it seems that evolutions in projection technology often make the past fade away, as the future keeps moving ahead….

The Camera Obscura, similar to a pinhole camera, was developed back in 1604. It was a natural optical device using a lens and a very small hole. An image was projected reversed, or inverted, in a very dark room. It was often used as a drawing or painting aid.

In 1640, Athonasius Kircher, with his Magic Lantern, made one of the first attempts we know of to project drawings onto a wall. He drew onto separate pieces of glass, which were projected as static images. The glass plates were then moved from above with strings to change the scenes.

The Kaleidoscope was invented in 1815, which is an amusing ornamental toy with philosophical origins. The natural philosopher, David Brewster, designed it’s ever changing abstract patterns by accident when he saw reflections between plates of glass, bringing awareness to the underlying symmetry of nature. It is an optical instrument with crystals, mirrors and reflections, which is placed over one eye and rotated, creating beautiful changing patterns.

The Stereoscope of 1838, much like the modern Viewmaster, brought the viewer “closer “ to a scene with its spatial dimensions. When looking into it, two separate images merged with the eyes to create a single 3D image, which was considered quite fascinating at that time.

Eedweard Muybridge’s 1879 Zoopraxiscope was an early device created to display motion pictures, and may be the first movie projector. It projected stop-motion silhouettes and images, painted onto rotating glass discs, moving in a rapid succession, to give the impression of motion. Many of his films showed complex animal and human movements.

In 1889, Edison’s Kinetoscope showed films, viewed by one person at a time, through a peephole viewer. It was not a movie projector but was instrumental to the birth of the American cinema culture. Jenkins & Armat’s Vitascope projector, first demonstrated in 1895, went from being called a toy to an instrument or machine. Considered natural magic with practical applications, and with equal emphasis on both amusement and instruction.

The year 1894 saw the joining together of engineering, electricity and chemistry. This began the mechanical transfer of the animator’s world onto the screen. By 1895, with the Birth of Cinema, the creation of virtual worlds were then filmed. The first use of animation in movies began when Georges Méliès built one of the first film studios in 1897. He went on to create over 500 films, mostly short one-shot films, produced in just one take, including A Trip To The Moon in 1902.

German silhouette cutout artist, Lotte Reiniger, started creating animated title cards in 1917, around age 18. She invented the multiplane camera in 1923, with her husband and creative partner Carl Koch, using multiple sheets of glass to create depth. This multiplane camera was used for her first color animation "The Adventures of Prince Achmed", released in 1926, which was considered to be the first avant-garde full-length animated feature. She made more than 40 films with her invention.

In 1928, Mickey Mouse took off with Steamboat Willie, the first cartoon that had synchronized sound. Soon after, in 1932, Disney released it’s first full color film Flowers & Trees, followed by Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, which was their first feature length film. Snow White raised cartoon drawing to the level of art.

Sand animation was invented in 1968, by Caroline Leaf, for her project at Harvard University. Her first animated film was "Sand, or Peter and the Wolf", which she created by moving sand with her hands on an illuminated glass surface. By the late 1990’s, sand animators began demonstrating their works of live animated art to large audiences, adding a projector and screen. The sand artist’s projected, live, storytelling performances explore the relationship between real and virtual spaces, and create emotionally immersive environments which provide both entertainment and instruction. Live sand animations are currently projected large scale onto a mega screen, using the latest in digital technologies, and synched to a live or recorded soundtrack. 

Are you fully utilizing the projection screens at your venue? You can add a futuristic, artistic and informative element to your event with a living sand animation, the latest trend in projection art.

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Reserve Charlene today for your next project or event!

WHY Sand Art?

Watching sand animation come to life, in real time, has an extraordinary effect on the audience. Audience members are uncontrollably drawn into Charlene’s seemingly real world made up of sand characters, trees, mountains and seas. Live sand art is a magical art form that charms. Creating images conjured seemingly effortless, like an oracle or a magician, Charlene's hands skate on glass like a kind of dance. The moving sand creates continuously fluid and poetic figures with original storytelling. Old and young watch and listen together, and all is in harmony, because they all share the same emotions. A visual language is created that transcends linguistic barriers. Drawings are in perpetual transformation which excite imagination, surprise and allow abrupt changes of tone and unexpected images.

Charlene Lanzel can perform her sand animations live at: gala events, in theaters, at festivals, opening or closing ceremonies, at corporate events, conventions, trade shows, weddings, dinner parties, art events and more. Charlene’s sand art can be integrated into: dance, concerts, advertising, storytelling, video and television projects. Bespoke performances can also be custom created to existing compositions or original musical scores. Custom live presentations or videos can include your own imagery, logos and themes.

The powerful impact of sand animation is indescribable. Adding special uniqueness to any event, sand animation is almost unbelievable. It is a new, different and exciting way to communicate a message. Sand storytelling comes alive in this imaginative poetic expression.

Sand Artist | Charlene Lanzel keeps audiences spell-bound by the twists and surprises that follow every sweep of her hands.

Reserve Charlene today for your next project or event!