Creating GIFS using a Smartphone

Artist: Monica Shanta-Brown

Participants: secondary age year 8/9 from St Luke’s Science and Sports College, Exeter

Venues: RAMM, Exeter

Museum objects: Natural history collections from RAMM

Aims of activity: to create animated gifs inspired by museum collections, onsite in the museum using smartphones

Activity:  The young people chose an object from the RAMM collections which interested them. They photographed the object, and printed out the image. Using this print-out, drawing and collage, they created a series of images which formed a short narrative story. They turned the image series into a animated gif, using the giphy app.

Creative processes used: photography, drawing, collage, animation


  • The students enjoyed the immediacy of the process and working on site in the museum
  • The process of creating a narrative sequence of images enabled the students engage with an object from the collection that interested them, by getting them to design a way to animate it (eg. make it move, grow or interact with its environment)


  • The students enjoyed using their phones to make a piece of visual art
  • Using phones to make a creative response to museum collections was new to the students and teachers


  • Participants need a mobile phone of tablet, or can work in groups using digital cameras and a laptop if necessary
  • The Gify app needs to be downloaded somewhere where there is a strong WiFi signal – which was not available in the museum