A child of newcomers, Aino Anto grew up one of four rambunctious kids in a big city, with summers spent exploring forest paths. She earned her fist dime drawing mermaids on commission from other kids in Miss Brown’s Grade one class. Aino graduated from the University of Toronto and earned an associate’s diploma from the Ontario College of Art, now the Ontario College of Art and Design. Today, neither seems as relevant to how she paints and sees the world as do her experiences of growing up the child of immigrant parents and spending half her life barefoot outdoors. Aino’s first picture book, The Moon Watched It All, was published in 2019. She lives in a leafy corner of Toronto and still treasures her earliest notebook of stories.
Aino also contributed to A World of Mindfulness (2020) in collaboration with 13 other Pajama Press illustrators.