What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

The Marvelous Flipbook Machine


J.C. Fontanive

New York-based artist J.C. Fontanive creates gorgeous illustrations of colorful birds, moths, and butterflies, which he then turns into automated flipbooks like nothing I’ve ever seen. It may kind of resemble a diner napkin dispenser, but what this thing dispenses is far better than napkins. Inspired by pre-cinema optical devices, the artist invented his flipbook machine while studying at the Royal College of Art back in 2004 and his creations have been flying around ever since.

I am especially fascinated by the way the whirring of the cards creates a susurration similar to that of real fluttering wings, making it seem like the creatures are really in the machine.

“Flipping pages make these handmade sculptures live in real sound and space. Creatures flit and flicker by to awaken the poetry of movement and inspire through nature and invention.”

– J.C. Fontanive

You can learn more about J.C. Fontanive’s process and see all of his wonderful work on his website and on Instagram, and you can see his fantastical creations in motion on Vimeo and YouTube.

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

24 thoughts on “The Marvelous Flipbook Machine

  1. They reminded me of the old days. This is how or similar to what Disney did a very long time ago. Yes, I enjoyed seeing them this morning. Hal

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I do enjoy these. Partly cause it reminds me of my art school days, but I love the automation and getting it to loop – ingenious! for some reason the yellow butterfly works the best to me – maybe the page flipping better matches the wing flapping and the slightly more frenetic flight. Plus it feels a little more like a butterfly in the box

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my goodness.. I would love to have one of these.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Sitting at home getting absolutely nothing done, flipping these over and over and over again… What a talent.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. These are amazing! Again I marvel at the ability of the creative mind to take something as “old school” as a flip book and reinvigorate it. These are much classier and cool looking than the doodles we used to create in the corners of our school textbooks.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. They don’t sell them in Walmart for sure — Hal

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Why didn’t I think of making one? In my younger years I might have tried but now Ill just have to keep coming back.

    Liked by 1 person

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