Joe Castillo

  • Finalist from America's Got Talent
  • Seen live in all 7 continents, over 43 countries, and 35 languages.
  • Creator of SandStory, a unique way of storytelling that uses sand art


Joe Castillo is the best selling author, artist, storyteller and finalist from America’s Got Talent who has developed a new way of telling stories with his hands in the sand.  SandStory is a unique way of storytelling that uses sand art, a light table and music as a medium.  He has been seen live in all 7 continents, over 43 countries, and into 35 different languages.  He has done event for world leaders including President Carter, President Bush, President Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton, President Juan Manuel Santos and King Abdullah.

Here are some other ways people have used Sand Animation.

Mr. Castillo is the world’s premier Sand Animation  (SandArist) performer living in the United States of America.  He was born in Mexico City. He was interested in art from a very young age. He attended Ringling School of Art and later graduated from Florida Bible College. He then began an advertising agency in Knoxville, Tennessee called The Advertising Library. He spent 20 years in advertising before he returned to Asbury Theological Seminary to get his M.A. in Biblical Studies and M. Div.

His experience in advertising and art lead him to become a motivational performing artist. Since then, he has created a new and unique way to express his art and message. These are called SandStory, ArtStory, and WordStory. He is the most prominent Sand Animation artist in the world today.


Joe has been using art to tell stories since he was a teenager. He has become a master storyteller. He developed ways to use his talent as an artist to enhance the powerful stories he crafts. Using a white board and marker, Castillo performs ArtStory and WordStory that combine his oratory and artistic gifts to relay a message, inspire, or entertain. He does this in both English and Spanish.

Amazing Sand Art

Sand Art is otherwise known as Sand Painting, Sand Animation, SandStory. Castillo uses a light table, sand, and music to create a powerful message that speaks to the audience. As he creates different scenes, they are displayed on a screen for the audience to see. Music helps make the scenes appear fluid. The story typically needs no explanation. Traveling the world to perform his show, he has been introduced in 35 different languages, but his Amazing Sand Art is only told in one. It is a universal way to tell a story.

Motivational Performing Artist

Castillo has performed for many Fortune 500 Companies. He has performed for many audiences including kings, dignitaries, and CEOs. He has a passion for using his talent as an artist and a storyteller to promote a corporate message. He performs at banquets, new product launches, grand openings, and other corporate events. His gift is to take any message and make it resonate with the audience.

Some past clients:


In 2011, Castillo was asked to close the TEDActive Conference with his performance entitled “The Rediscovery of Wonder!“ In that same year, he performed at TEDGlobal in Edinburgh, Scotland. “Turning the Tide” was created by PBS to document Castillo’s revolutionary Sand Animation.

Castillo has received many awards for his work. In 2012, he performed his Sand Animation on the NBC reality show America’s Got Talent where he made it to the finals.  Find out the whole story… Read the amazing and inspirational tale of how sand changed one man’s life.    SandStory: The amazing tale of How Sand Changed My Life .

Topics & Music

Keynote Address Topics: (with SandStory illustrations)
– Seven principles of INNOVATION.
– Four deep wells of MOTIVATIONAL energy
– The Infallible Key to RECOVERING from failure
– Three steps to RENEW your image

SandStory Musical Selections:
1. What a Wonderful World –  Louis Armstrong
2. Stand By Me ~ Ben E. King
3. Lovely Day – Bill Withers
4. Beautiful Day – U2
5. Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles
6. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – Monty Python
7. Don’t Worry be Happy – Bobby McFerrin
8. Teardrop – Massive Attack
9. Perfect Day – Lou Reed
10. Imagine – John Lennon
11. What a Feeling – Irene Cara
12. Remember the Name – Fort Minor
13. Lust For Life – Iggy Pop
14. Human – The Killers
15. Bridge Over Troubled Waters – Simon & Garfunkle
16. Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves
17. Not Afraid – Eminem
18. We are the Champions – Queen
19. You Gotta Be – Des Ree
20. Where is the Love? – Black Eyed Peas
21. Feelin’ Good – Michael Buble
22. Beautiful – Christina Aguilera
23. It’s My Life – Bon Jovi
24. You’re Beautiful – James Blunt
25. Get up Stand up – Bob Marley
26. Skyscraper – Demi Lovato
27. Save the World – Swedish House Mafia
28. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
29. Don’t Stop Believing – Journey
30. Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) – Kelly Clarkson

31.  Watch the Magic  – Take Flight by Lindsey Sterling

32.  Friends – Colors of the Wind



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Circle of Life/God Bless USA

Joe was a pro and very well received by young and old alike.

Kent Boggs, Oklahoma FFA

Joe was absolutely a delight to work with and his performance was stellar. Our client is very happy.

Judy Geriot, President, Corporate Dimensions LTD

Fantastic job. He is not only amazingly talented but he’s a very lovely and unpretentious man. We were very happy to have Joe Castillo perform during our “Living Art Show” event and he exceeded expectations. Joe is cooperative, gracious and friendly and he does a great job of accommodating requests.

Linda Cauiola, President, Canto Event Management

Joe was fanatastic - exceeded our expectations. Crowd loved him and he was a pleasure to work with.

Fred Suss, AARP Life@50+

Extremely professional, kind, humble, and just a joy to be around. He was on time, got everything set up quickly, and went above and beyond what we expected.

Melissa Wolfe, Infusion Lounge

Joe was incredible. He is a very talented communicator. He professional and flexible with our service schedule and stage set up.

Larry Ehoff, Gold Creek Community Church

Joe gave a very moving and inspirational performance to our diversity group. The Grable group was very easy and effecient to work with. I would definetly recommend them.

Billie Peavler, Specialist, TEMA Corporate Responsibility Diversity & Inclusion Site Services, Toyota

Very innovative experience. Nearly every guest in our very diverse group had something to say about the performance. Most expressed that they had never seen anything like it before!

Raschel Bovard-Springer, Events & Promotions Specialist, Belterra Casino Resort

Joe crushed it.

Jason Schlafer, Sr. Assoc. AD, University of Kentucky

Amazing, thrilling, touching and inspiring. Our staff has been talking about how much they loved the performance and how grateful they were that PCH brought in such wonderful entertainment in recognition of National Hospital Week.

Crystal Mabe, Executive Assistant, Princeton Community Hospital

Not only are you a spectacular artist, but you are also a gifted storyteller. Throughout our 53-year history, we have had some impressive keynote presentations, but nothing compares to the breathtaking show you presented for our most recent conference.

Janice Mashak, Vice President of Member Services, LeadingAge Wiconsin

Everyone loved having you create your art and then you hit it out of the park with your message on day three. I wouldn’t have dreamed of a better way to get people motivated to “jump” and take the chance.

Gregory B. Gagne, Million Dollar Round Table

It was a pleasure to work with a professional organization such as The Grable Group. Mr. Castillo was wonderful and our audience enjoyed the Q & A.

Janet Taylor, TN Governor's School for the Arts

A unique and special artist, presenter and human being. I would highly recommend Joe for any event, in any part of the world. His Sand Story needs no translation.

Connie Schaeffer, President, Air Carriers Purchasing Conference, Inc.

Joe Castillo was outstanding. He captured the attention of the audience immediately as completely different opening to a corporate meeting. His performance was customized to Kao USA Inc. as a company, to our meeting theme, and a focus on beauty.

Cindy LaBoiteaux, Kao USA Inc.

Exceeded our expectations, he brought terrific value and was try professional. He was extremely inspirational to the entire audience. Thanks!!

Denise Siebert, Fem Care Design Associate Director, Procter & Gamble