Funny Flip Book

Funny flip books inspired by Wayne Thiebaud’s clown paintings.



In many of the works in Wayne Thiebaud’s exhibition, the clowns appear to be in motion. In Running Cars, for example, the viewer can imagine that the clowns will soon bump into one another and perhaps a comical collision will take place. A viewer may wonder what might fly out of the cars once they hit?

Clowns are the source of inspiration for the paintings in the exhibition Wayne Thiebaud: Clowns.

Wayne Thiebaud, Running Cars, 2019, © 2020 Wayne Thiebaud / Licensed by VAGA at Artist Rights Society, (ARS), NY

This activity allows you to use your imagination and create what you think happens next by creating a funny flip book inspired by the clowns in this exhibition. A flip book is a booklet with a series of images that very gradually change from one page to the next, so that when the pages are viewed in quick succession, the images appear to animate by simulating motion or some other change.

The oldest known documentation of the flip book appeared in September 1868, when it was patented by John Barnes Linnett under the name kineograph or “moving picture.”


Koko the Clown flip book, c. 1930s

Be Funny

  • Be inspired by Wayne Thiebaud’s clown paintings to create your own funny flip book. Expand on one of his pieces or create your own scene entirely.
  • Suggested materials:
    + Pencils, markers, crayons, colored pencils
    + Paper, sticky notes, index cards, or cardstock
  • Get a stack of small pieces of paper, a notepad, sticky notes, index cards, or card stock.
  • Start drawing in the bottom right portion of the paper. We recommend beginning with pencil.
  • After you have drawn your first image, flip to the next page and draw the same image, in the same spot on the next paper, with one slight modification or something that is different.

    For example: If you are drawing a clown face, in the first image draw the eyes open, and in the second image, draw one eye closed.
  • Continue this process with at least three images.
  • After you have all of your images how you want them with pencil, add color using marker, colored pencils, or crayons!
  • Use your imagination! Experiment! Be silly! And please share your work with us on Instagram using the hashtag #LAMLabAtHome.


Show Us Your Work


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