Whilst on a rainy seaside holiday in North Holland, Dick Bruna entertained his young son by sketching a little bunny that kept hopping about the garden of his holiday house. Each evening he would make stories up about the bunny and soon Miffy was born.
Bruna is best known for his children's books, which he authored and illustrated - now numbering 124. Recurring characters include Boris the little boy bear and Barbara his girlfriend, Poppy the kind pig lady and Snuffy the dog. Additionally, Bruna has also created stories for characters such as Lottie, Farmer John, and Hettie Hedgehog. But it is Miffy (nijntje in the original Dutch), a small rabbit drawn with heavy graphic lines, simple shapes and primary colours, which has become his iconic figure, and one that has made him a household name the world over.
Bruna started drawing at a young age, and was also influenced by artists of various art forms.
The biggest influence was perhaps Matisse, with Bruna's first works based on collages by the French painter. Bruna is also noted to have been influenced by the Dutch graphic design movement, De Stijl, in particular the work of architect Gerrit Rietveld. As well as other artists including Mondrian and Leger.