Ilon Wikland Art Work

Aspiring to be an illustrator? Let the art work of Ilon Wikland, Haapsalu, Estonia inspire you.

First, I stumbled upon Haapsalu and then stumbled upon Ilon's Wonderland. There it was I learned about Ilon and her lovely whimsical artwork.

Ilon, born in 1930, grew up in Haapsalu with her grandparents.

Ilon Wikland Art Haapsalu Estonia
Wikland Art Haapsalu Estonia

In 1944 she escaped with the family of a classmate from the second soviet occupation, to Sweden. She is known best for her illustrations to various books by the author Astrid Lindgren, including the popular The Children of Noisy Village.

Ilon Wikland Art Haapsalu Estonia
Wikland's Art Haapsalu Estonia

I photographed these original Ilon Wikland works at Ilon's Wonderland, a delightful museum type place for kids to explore.

Ilon Wikland Art Haapsalu Estonia
Ilon's Art Haapsalu Estonia

Folks in Haapsalu make wonderful handcrafts of wood and wool. I scoured the shops trying to find something special to bring back to my one and only (so far) grand baby, Liliana. Although I saw many tempting items, such as hand knit red wool socks, nothing completely enticed me to open my pocket book until...

Ilon Wikland Art Haapsalu Estonia
Castle & Grandparent's Place Haapsalu Estonia

I was in a variety store with not many, if any, handmade items, where they did have books and books almost always lower my resistance to make a purchase. It was when I saw the Flutterby Children, illustrated by Wikland, that I knew I had just the right souvenir from Haapsalu, Estonia for Liliana.

Ilon Wikland Art Haapsalu Estonia
Ilon Wikland's Art Haapsalu Estonia

Since we all love books in our family...we need to get Liliana indoctrinated into collecting books too, right?

Ilon Wikland Art Haapsalu Estonia
Wikland's Art Haapsalu Estonia

Below is a painting of Ilon on Haapsalu's very, very long train station walkway on her way to Sweden to escape the soviet occupation. She looks sad, alone and scared, which I'm sure she was all of them. Certainly leaving her beloved grandparents and their creative homey place as well as leaving Haapsalu was difficult.

Ilon Wikland Art Haapsalu Estonia
Ilon Wikland's Art Haapsalu Estonia

Here is that same train station today. I wonder if the station was painted blue in Ilon's day or if she just used what seems to be her favorite color, blue? Blue also would portray her "blue" feelings of leaving. It's now painted tones of yellow and mustard.

Many Russian aristocrats visited Haapsalu during the first part of the twentieth century because of the healing mud baths. The station roof was vastly extended during this time to keep the rich ladies dry while boarding the trains.

Haapsalu Estonia train station
Haapsalu Train Station Today

The reason I went to Haapsalu was to see the shawls but also discovered Ilon Wikland!


Civil Rights for the UNBORN!





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