You may be familiar with beach town arts and crafts projects, but art studio FallingInSand goes totally against the grain with their truly mesmerizing sand art pieces. Featured in our latest annual, Mind Blown!, artist James Sun from Toronto, Canada, uses detailed precision and a very steady hand to create amazing lifelike sand portraits and other designs, including images of celebrities such as Taylor Swift and Tom Hanks.

Sun uses his intricate talents to create long-lasting pieces in all shapes and sizes, from pendants to fish bowls. His artwork takes shape by pouring colored, eco-friendly sand from Jordan into various receptacles. The sand is carefully washed, purified, and dyed in advance for maximum effect.

FallingInSand Artist

Each piece is painstakingly crafted using only a simple funnel, and the results are impressive. From Nicolas Cage to Chadwick Boseman, Sun seamlessly reproduces their visages in one of nature’s most bountiful elements—sand.

In 2018, Sun started filming his process, and millions of people have tuned in to see his videos—which are both relaxing and therapeutic. Watching the sand falling can calm your nerves and, at least for a moment, erase some of life’s daily stresses. Music is carefully selected to match the piece and the message conveyed.

The videos are time-lapsed to condense the number of hours that go into each project. Sun told Ripley’s that it takes several hours to create small projects but as long as an entire week to complete a big one.

The Rock Sand Art

He likes to reveal emotions and feelings in his work and considers art a way for the human spirit to express itself. He makes art pieces, necklaces, videos, and more in both 2D and 3D formats for special occasions, including birthdays, weddings, and pet memorials. Most of his sand art is largely centered on themes of peace, love, and friendship. If you want to see some of his latest creations, check out FallingInSand on Instagram, or read about them in our latest annual, Mind Blown!, on sale now.

By Noelle Talmon, contributor for


Discover hundreds of strange and unusual artifacts and get hands-on with unbelievable interactives when you visit a Ripley’s Odditorium!