Mirjam Visker (1965) – writer, illustrator, founder LAPPA®
Mirjam Visker, the pseudonym for Mirjam Touwslager, was born in 1965. After having worked in the commercial sector for many years, she finally decided to follow her heart in 1998 and enrolled for evening classes at the Willem de Kooning Art School in Rotterdam, at the age of 33. Her initial interest lay in creating spatial works. In 2006, the avant-garde gallery Espace in Amsterdam selected her work to be exhibited among world-famous colleagues such as Karel Appel, Lucebert, Co Westerik, Corneille and Klaas Gubbels. From that year on, she worked as a 3D artist using waste materials, under the name of Mirjam Visker. But it was her love of drawing that would ultimately prevail. In her spare time, Mirjam drew portraits as well as illustrating for well-known Dutch clients such as the Dutch Social and Cultural Planning Agency, ActiZ, and de Volkskrant, the quality Dutch daily newspaper.
In 2011, she created the character of ‘Lappa’. The following year, LAPPA became a registered trademark.
LAPPA provided Mirjam the opportunity to communicate her mission to young children between 3 and 6 years of age. Her themes – focusing on the interconnection of cultures and races, care for nature and the environment, and a positive attitude to life – can be seen reflected in the adventures of the ever-curious Lappa and his friend Doggie Woof. But LAPPA® also focuses attention on the more serious topics that young children, like Lappa, might also have to deal with.
Yarden Farewell Prize
In 2015, the book Bye bye dear grandfather was nominated for the Yarden Farewell Prize. Mirjam gained 2nd prize in a field of 1648.
In 2016, LAPPA® was launched on the Dutch and Belgian markets. The following year, LAPPA was introduced on an internationale scale.
Today, Mirjam works with an inspiring team of dedicated people who share and support her vision. Additionally, she also designs and supervises the merchandising, such as the LAPPA® cuddly toy, and is head of the creative side of an expanding company. But if she had her way, she would be spending all her time at the drawing board creating the escapades of Lappa and Doggie Woof in a new book, to inspire young children not to waste the world’s resources, to treat their fellow humans with respect, and to support young children as and when necessary.