Take a moment to imagine the most unconventional profession possible. Not a hobby, craft, or interest, but an actual profession, something someone makes a living doing. Though the grand majority of us make a living doing something conventional, how many would wager that being a professional sandcastle builder can be, and actually is, a profession? Write that down in the book of coolest jobs to have.
DaVinci had his paint, Baryshnikov has his moves, and there are men and women out there who have some sand – and they know how to use it. Those who reside in beachside communities may already have seen some of the spectacular sandcastle creations that appear from time to time on a given beach, but we’re betting most of you didn’t know that a childhood pastime actually has a big leagues. Well, not all sand is created equal, and not all sandcastle builders are either. One thing is for certain – professional sandcastle builders are incredibly talented.
If you’re picturing yourself as toddler with a big plastic bucket, some small shovels, and a whole bunch of other kids trying to takeover your castle, stop right there because this is a whole different story. Yes, making sandcastles as children, or even adults, was great fun, but let’s take a look at what it means to be a professional.
You Can Travel to Exotic Locations as a Sandcastle Builder
Seriously, there are professional sandcastle competitions held all over the world. It would be like traveling somewhere to participate in the Olympics, except the sport of choice here is sandcastle building. We’re talking obvious locations such as Hawaii and California, but the list of competitions does not stop there. Europe, Canada, and Australia all offer their own unique and prestigious competitions. Some of these competitions are even sponsored by professional sandcastle building schools. Yes, there are schools dedicated to the study of creating sculpture art out of sand!
Must Have an Understanding of the Brief History of Sandcastle Building
Just like all professions, sandcastle building has uncertain beginnings, disputable facts, and a much hearsay. Though some conjecture that the Egyptians may have built sand models of the Pyramids, the more commonly believed story is that profitable sand sculpting began in Atlantic City, NJ in the late 19th century. Like many street artists today, decent sand sculptors would sculpt along the boardwalk, and interested spectators might throw tips to the artists. It didn’t really take off until after WWII though, when Americans started taking frequent beach vacations. Family sandcastle contests starting becoming commonplace at beachside resorts all along the East Coast. What is commonly considered to be modern day san sculpture began in California in the early ‘70s, by the Sand Sculptors International – Gerry Kirk and Todd VanderPluym. The pair organized teams of sculptors to create enormous and highly detailed replicas of famous castles and fantasy architecture.
It’s Entirely Possible to Make a Lucrative Living
Ok so a person can make some amount of money doing nearly anything, but guess what? A person can make an actual living, and a good one at that, building sand sculptures and castles. Not everyone makes a decent living making beach art with sand, and likely most people aren’t doing it for the money, but let’s just take a quick peek at the financial opportunities of this field. Apparently, the Middle East, a region known for having vast amounts of sand, is really into sand sculptures and pays independent sculptors up to $6,000 a week for their professional services. It’s not uncommon for a professional to be hired to sculpt something special for a birthday, a task that may be only an hour’s worth of time, yet pays up to $300. Private lessons can go for $75 an hour, and there are even paid teaching positions at professional sand sculpting schools.
Now that you know more than you ever thought possible about the subject of sandcastle building and sculpting, it’s high time you catch an opportunity to see some of the sensational creations firsthand! Sandcastle sculptor master – Matt Long, more commonly known as “Sandman Matt,” will be hosting a professional sandcastle building event at the luxurious Cap Juluca Resort on Anguilla Island. From March 23 to March 26, Sandman Matt will create a magnificent original masterpiece at the resort. On the last day he will lead a two-hour sandcastle building lesson, in case you become so inspired you need to try it out yourself! This is your chance to treat yourself to a relaxing and rejuvenating getaway, while also witnessing the creation of something so beautiful, you’ll marvel that it’s just sand.
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