Dutch painter and graphic artist Tjeerd Bottema was born in Langezwaag as the son of a Frisian farmer. Together with his brother, the landscape painter Tjerk Bottema, he learned to become a teacher in Maastricht and studied arts in Amsterdam. Tjeerd Bottema made satirical cartoons for the socialist magazine De Ware Jacob in 1904-05 and illustrations for the Sunday paper of Het Volk.
Some of his most famous designs are the advertising poster of the RVS (Rotterdamsche Verzekerings Maatschappij) and the hen for the Slys seeds company. While still studying, he illustrated the rhyme booklet 'Er Was Eens Een Oud Vrouwtje', which can be seen as a forerunner on modern comic albums.
Bottema illustrated children's and school books and made the series 'Jaap en Gerdientje' with Anne de Vries. He died in Katwijk aan Zee in 1978.