Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Inside the Dick Bruna (Miffy) Museum!
One of the things I was most excited about visiting on my trip to Holland was the Dick Bruna Museum in Utrecht. In case you are unfamiliar with Bruna's name, he is the original creator of Miffy, the sweet white rabbit who is featured in hundreds of children's books. Her original Dutch name is Nijntje, and in there town we also visited a place called Nijntje Pleintje or Miffy Square.
The museum was a wonderful insight into Bruna's life and career as an artist. I was also surprised to see the original methods used to create his picture books. Bruna first draws out an outline on paper, then presses this onto clear acetate. He then draws over the lines carefully using black paint (drawing the lines so very carefully!). The coloured background is then made using pieces of coloured paper cut into shapes which sit neatly behind the black outlines. Having the linework on clear acetate gives him the chance to try out different colour schemes. I love the simplicity of Bruna's creations, and it was a lot of fun exploring the museum (not to mention the amazing shop!).
Although many people assume Miffy is a Japanese character she actually arrived a couple of decades before her Japanese nemesis Hello Kitty, who was invented as a character to sell merchandise in the 1970s. In fact Bruna expressed a dislike for Hello Kitty in one interview, stating: "That is a copy [of Miffy], I think. I don't like that at all. I always think, "No, don't do that. Try to make something that you think of yourself" [from wikipedia].
I'd definitely recommend a visit to the museum should you ever find yourself in the area. It was fun for adults and children alike!