Do you like to express your creativity through art? Perhaps you enjoy painting. Most kids enjoy coloring with crayons. Older kids might prefer sculpting unique works of art out of clay or play dough.

When you think about art, you might tend to think of works of art as permanent. After all, that picture you drew in kindergarten might still be hanging on your refrigerator years later. And that sculpture you made of the dog that most people can't identify? It'll probably still be sitting on a shelf when you graduate from high school.

Not all works of art are permanent, though. Think about a Broadway performance. It certainly qualifies as art, given its musical and dramatic content. But when it's over, it's over. It might live on in your memory or on film, but the live performance was a special event limited to a specific time and place.

Can you think of other forms of art that are transitory? If you're a fan of the beach, sand castles might come to mind. Have you ever spent hours with your pail and shovel building a beautiful sand castle, complete with towers and a moat?

If you have, you probably were a bit sad when it was time to leave the beach. Your work of art might last a few more hours, but you knew it would be gone as soon as the tide came in. The sandy beach is a canvas that nature erases daily.

Even though creating art with sand can be but a temporary experience, many people love using sand to create their own unique vision of beauty. One of the most mesmerizing versions of sand art is sand animation.

Sand animation is a type of live performance art. Artists who specialize in sand animation use sand to create a series of images that usually tell a story. They usually start with a large amount of sand on a flat surface, such as a table. They then use their hands and fingers to draw in the sand.

Although it might seem like using sand would limit the types of art you could make, you might be surprised to see the wide variety of beautiful and highly-detailed artworks that can be produced by sand art masters. And some of their works of art are very temporary. That's where the animation part comes in.

Sand animation artists create a series of images that seem to move to tell a story. They might also use music and special lighting to complete the effect that they desire. Sometimes they take photographs or video of their creation throughout the process to turn it into a sand animation movie when it's finished.

Sand animation has been around for decades, but there are still relatively few sand animation artists compared to other types of artists. Some of the most famous sand artists include Ferenc Cakó, Kseniya Simonova, Caroline Leaf, Ilana Yahav and Joe Castillo.

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