Before the Moomins were a 1970s cartoon they were the brainchild of Finnish illustrator Tove Jansson.
Tove was daughter to artist parents and part of a big family. At the age of 14 she began drawing cartoons for the magazine Garm and realised her talent. She bolstered her income by penning comic strips and short stories – based on her family in the disguise of a family of mythical, elf like creatures called the Moomins – these stories were a huge success and became what Tove is most famous for.
She went to write 6 autobiographical novels for adults such as the Sculptor’s daughter, the Winter book and the Summer book.
Besides her art and writing, Tove lived a truly bohemian life – partner to the influential graphic designer and professor Tuulikki Pietila, they spent large periods of time on a small island in the gulf of Bothnia, where they lived a self sufficient life and were inspired by their surrounds.
Tove is most famous for Finn Family Moomintroll and Comet in Moominland which were published in 1948 and 1946.
Tove died in 2001 aged 86 – she is a national figure in Finland and continued to make art and write until her death.