The public knows Tove Jansson, Finnish writer and illustrator, primarily as the creator of Moomins—but in her later life, she purposefully distanced herself herself from the Moomin universe. When she ended her daily Moomin comic strip, Jansson wrote to a friend: “I never spare them a thought now it’s over. I’ve completely drawn a line under all that. Just as you’d wouldn’t want to think back on a time you had toothache.” She began writing adult fiction and illustrating other writers’ books.
One such non-Moomin project: illustrating both the Swedish and Finnish editions of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, published in 1962 and 1973 respectively. At the time, she was trying to free herself from the “Moomin” drawing style she had become known for—but her full-page illustrations still have Moomin-like characteristics.
Take a look at Jansson’s lively Hobbit illustrations below: