Ilon Wikland



Born 1930 in Estonia, came as a refuge to Sweden at the age of 14. She studied at “Konstfack” and the “Signe Barths” school of painting, and the year 1954 she got the assignment to illustrate Mio my Son. Since then Ilon has illustrated almost every book by Astrid Lindgren, but also Edith Unnerstads about “Pip-Larssons” and Hans Petersons about “Magnus”.

Ilon Wikland puts down a tremendous amount of hard work in every detail in the environment. She wants to be sure to exact capture a person’s character. And she always succeeds. Here own children have been an inspiration to the Children of Noisy Village and many more stubby nosed, round-cheeked children.


More trouble though in finding Karlsson-on-the-roof. The model for him, she eventually found in the halls in Paris; a little chubby and shrewd old man with troll face and brushy hair. The robbers’ in Ronja the Robber's Daughter, she found in the line to the state-controlled liquor shop.

Ilon Wikland is an artist with many sides, whom in her pictures spans a wide register, from the safe idyll on Trouble Maker Street to the appalling black abyss at the Karma streams in Brothers Lionheart. Ilon has received most of the awards and nominations, 1969 she got the Elsa Beskow-plaque for her complete works.

Ilon Wikland has drawn her childhood in the picture book “Den långa, långa resan.”



Written and translated by Daniel Grahm 10-06-2002

Original text from the Swedish official website about Astrid Lindgren