Toivo Kulles was the sixth child in his family. He was born in the small village of Sompa and from an early age worked as a shepherd, which instilled a love for nature and space.
After graduating from the Jõhvi school, he entered the Tallinn State Art School, where he studied graphic drawing, but did not have time to complete the course due to the Second World War.
After the surrender of Germany, he returns to study at the Institute of Applied Arts. Already at that time he was appreciated as an illustrator of pictures “on the topic of the day.” At the same time, he becomes a book artist.
Toivo never tried to experiment, but preferred dry point lithography. In 1950, a series of his works about the workers of an oil shale processing plant in Kiviõli was published, which was very fond of the locals. Since 1960, the artist has been interested in simple sketches of the old part of the Estonian capital.
Toivo never sought fame, but simply a talented creator. Perhaps that is why he was recognized as one of the best artists of post-war Estonia.
The best works of the Estonian artist are presented in the Rios Art Gallery.