Dick Bruna's drawings of Miffy only allow for very miniscule changes to indicate emotions--the position of eyes, the length of the ears, the shape of the mouth.
"That's all you have. With two dots and a little cross I have to make her happy (...) or a little bit sad--and I do it over and over again. There is a moment when I think yes, now she is really sad. I must keep her like that."
He is constantly paring away, distilling down to the simplest purist form possible. When he draws Miffy crying, for instance, he says, "I very often start with three or four tears. I take away one, and the next day I take away another one, and at the end I have one tear, and that's very, very sad."
Georges Simenon wrote to him and said: "I see that you are trying to make your covers still simpler and simpler. You are doing the same in designing as I try to do in writing."
It might take him a day to draw a single illustration of Miffy.
<note: I'm going to take an entire month off from blogging... so, see you back in september!>