Bruna devised the character to entertain his infant son after they saw a rabbit in the dunes while on a seaside holiday. He went on to relate the bunny’s adventures in more than a hundred books, sold worldwide.
Miffy enjoyed great popularity. But Miffy was not an overnight success. Bruna’s parents weren’t impressed with his iconic simplicity: “They said, ‘Oh, that’s too simple. The colours are too bright and I don’t like blue and green together. But I thought it was nice to make everything as simple as possible to give children lots of room for their own imagination,” recalls Bruna.
Bruna spent years finding the specific red, blue, green and yellow that would become known as the Bruna colours. He would later expand his palette for Miffy’s friends Snuffy Dog, Boris Bear and Poppy Pig, but again agonised over the right shade of grey, brown or pink. Despite all of the books, he said that he found drawing Miffy’s eyes and famous ‘x’ shaped mouth extremely hard.
“That’s all you have. With two dots and a little cross I have to make her happy, or just a little bit happy, a little bit cross or a little bit sad – and I do it over and over again. There is a moment when I think, ‘Yes, now she is really sad. I must keep her like that.’”
How beautiful is that. Here at The Vampire’s Wife we love Dick Bruna.