Marina Zurkow, The Thirsty Bird (still), 2012.
Marina Zurkow, The Thirsty Bird (still), 2012.

Art at Home: The Thirsty Bird Flip-book

Currently on view on CAM’s facade is Marina Zurkow: The Thirsty Bird. On one side of this split screen video, viewers witness the seemingly eternal motion of an oil pump jack (known colloquially as a “thirsty bird”), and on the other side, a range of archetypal figures drinking from a water fountain. As the pump pulls oil up, the fountain squirts water out, in an infinite and interconnected dance.⁣

Inspired by The Thirsty Bird, follow along below for an easy at-home flip-book animation project for kids!⁣

Download the PDF instructions here.


  • white paper
  • ruler
  • scissors
  • glue
  • tape
  • stapler
  • pencils
  • pens and/or markers


Step 1: Measure and cut your paper into 9”x12” pieces. Rectangles are best because they’re easier to flip the pages quickly to create the desired animation effect. The more paper you use and the more drawings you have, the better your animation will turn out.

Step 2: Staple your book along the one of the short sides of your papers. This will be the binding or what keeps the book together when you flip through it. If don’t have a stapler, you can use masking tape or a hole punch and yarn as binding.

Step 3: Start drawing on the top paper and gradually change your drawing on the following sheet below it. Not sure where to begin or what to draw? Think about things that change over time — a stick figure doing jumping jacks, an ice cube melting, a leaf falling from a tree. Or try this, make something that slowly moves across the paper like a bug crawling on grass.

Step 4: Be creative and have fun!