was born in Uppsala, Sweden in 1964. When she was five she moved to the Netherlands with her Dutch mother, Swedish father and her brother and sister.
From 1982 to 1987, she studied illustration at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, where her talent and unique style made an immediate impression.
In Sweden, she was asked to illustrate Astrid Lindgren’s work and so she gained a large audience outside the Netherlands and Flanders too. Törnqvist is also a writer; the first book she wrote, Klein verhaal over liefde (A short story about love) was published in 1995 and won a Zilveren Griffel.
The press has described her work as “impressive and timeless”, “technically astonishing”, “colourful, layered and full of emotion” and as “a personal universe”. There are indeed many highlights in Marit Törnqvist’s oeuvre. Her illustrations for Jij bent de liefste (You’re the dearest), a picture book of poems by Hans and Monique Hagen, reveal a great sensitivity to what goes on in the minds of young children. The door to childhood seems to have remained wide open for Törnqvist. In Pikkuhenki, a modern fairy tale by Toon Tellegen, for which she won the Gouden Penseel in 2006, she shows her darker side, dramatically emphasizing the power of the lonely little boy.
You won’t find any large faces with explicit emotions in Marit Törnqvist’s illustrations; she prefers to let the surroundings, the light, the colours and the materials show how her characters are feeling, creating a universal world where there is room for every child.
Marits picturebooks has been published in Sweden, the Netherlands, USA, UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Turkey, Iran, Palestina, China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam and Russia.