Artist Creates Lifelike Animal Sculptures…Out Of Sand

Andoni Bastarrika/Instagram

Sand is for more than castles on the beach. Just ask Spanish artist Andoni Nastarrika who has become somewhat of a celebrity because of his ability to create lifelike animals out of sand.

Hailing from Spain’s northern Basque region, Nastarrika began making sand sculptures a decade ago while at the beach with his two daughters. His first creation was a mermaid and the simply sculpture sparked a creative fire in the artist who determined to hone his sculpting skills. Did he ever!

In the ten years since, Nastarrika has developed quite a following with his sand creations that are so realistic that passersby stop to do a double-take. Sharks, horses, sea turtles, and even custom orders of sand sculptures of fans’ beloved pets….he’s done it all.

To make his one-of-a-kind sculptures, he starts with a large pile of moist sand and begins to shape it. As he shapes the sand, the sand’s expression shows him what the sculpture will become, he claims. He often uses small materials to add color and texture, such as stone powder, coal powder, ashes, glass shards and clay powder. Each creation takes anywhere from six hours to two days, depending on the size.

In a post made to Facebook, the artist explains why he chose to create these works of art with sand, knowing that they are temporary.

“Sand fascinates me, because no matter where you look it will always teach you if you are willing to learn. To create a sand sculpture, infinite sand particles that embrace each other tightly through humidity, so that the artist can model that union,” Nastarrika wrote. “Once the artist retires, they will stay at the mercy of nature, so that sooner or later the wind will dry and release every particle of sand that symbolizes the sense of Individuality or Authenticity.”

See some of Andoni Nastarrika’s incredible work in the photos below and check out the video to see some other amazing artists creating sand art.