For many others, however, the quarantine and the ensuing leisure time offered a fantastic opportunity to explore a range of novel hobbies. Sand and seashells were used by New York-based artist Anna Chan to create amazing animal sculptures at the beach, while others tried to replicate paintings or turn into amateur beauticians.

According to an interview, Anna started creating the sculptures exactly a year ago during the COVID-19 lockdown. “I went to our neighborhood beach on Long Island, New York, two to three times a week with my kid because there was nowhere else to go,” the artist said. “I was desperate to find a way to use my creativity after losing my job for a few months.”

During the lockdown, artist Anna Chan acquired a new hobby: sculpting stunning animal sand and snail sculptures.

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Anna Chan created stunning animal sculptures out of seashells.
Image Courtesy: Instagram/annachandesign

After 20 years of designing jewelry, Anna says she’s used to making it on a regular basis. “My hand felt almost electric as it touched the sand.” “Making something was my only goal,” the artist stated.

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Anna Chan created stunning animal sculptures out of seashells.
Image Courtesy: Instagram/annachandesign

Although she was initially inspired by marine life, Anna quickly broadened her inspiration to encompass all of nature. The artist says that she gets inspiration from the never-ending beauty all around us and that she also finds inspiration in the seashells. For instance, I had collected a lot of moon snails—which are common on Long Island beaches—with the sheep, but I had no idea what to do with them. One day, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed when I saw another artist paper cutout of a sheep with paper curls for fur. Anna said, “I realized right away how the moon snail resembled curling sheep hair, and that’s how that artwork came together.” The artist has said that her materials and nature collaborate to create her works.

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Anna Chan created stunning animal sculptures out of seashells.
Image Courtesy: Instagram/annachandesign

“In several of my small pieces, I used shells that I couldn’t find locally because I was still experimenting with the style and method for my work.” “But all of my large sculptures are composed of shells that I collected on Long Island,” said Anna. “I know where to go to get what I need because every beach has its own unique collection of shells.”

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Anna Chan created stunning animal sculptures out of seashells.
Image Courtesy: Instagram/annachandesign

The artist claims that from the time she started gathering shells to the time she completed them, some of her early creations took her about six hours to complete. However, she was able to exercise greater caution after relocating her workspace into her garage; as a result, depending on their complexity, her sculptures now take anywhere from three to seven days to finish. “The lion has been the most technically challenging item I’ve done so far because it’s a high relief work, so it takes a steady touch and a lot of time to fasten the shells to the sand,” Anna said.

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Anna Chan created stunning animal sculptures out of seashells.
Image Courtesy: Instagram/annachandesign

Since there are still a lot of options, Anna says she can’t wait to work with sand more. As an artist, my goal is to question accepted ideas about what a medium can and cannot accomplish. “I’m happy to have found a connection to a material at my local beach during such trying times. I’ve spent most of my creative life searching for that,” the artist concluded.

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Anna Chan created stunning animal sculptures out of seashells.
Image Courtesy: Instagram/annachandesign

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Anna Chan created stunning animal sculptures out of seashells.
Image Courtesy: Instagram/annachandesign

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Image Courtesy: Instagram/annachandesign

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Image Courtesy: Instagram/annachandesign

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Image Courtesy: Instagram/annachandesign

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