Auke Anne Tadema was born in Leeuwarden, Friesland in 1913. From 1929 until 1931 he studied at the Opleiding van Tekenleraren in Amsterdam, and after that at the Rijksacademie voor Beeldende Kunsten until 1934. He became an advertising illustrator for Rotogravure in Leiden. In 1936, he was present in De Groene Amsterdammer, with 'De Wonderlijke Ontdekkingsreis van Kleineklant en Bijtetand.
He then drew 'Petertje' in Doe Mee magazine in 1937. A year later, his comic '25 km. onder de Aarde', was published in weekly magazine Bravo 1942. Other magazines he published in were Vizier, De Prins and De Dikkie Dapper Krant. During the war he mostly lived from his hobby, restoring antique furniture. In 1948 he moved to Brazil, but returned after a year and settled in the city of Heemstede. He made only a few comics since.
His specialty was science fiction comics, and Auke Tadema has been called "the father of Dutch science fiction comics". Together with his wife, Bob Tadema-Sporry, he wrote and illustrated many travel stories, which appeared in Elseviers Weekblad and Margriet ('Met de Tadema's op Avontuur', 1963/64).
He also illustrated numerous books and drew advertising art. The comics he made are 'Ivanhoe' (1939), 'De spannendste avonturen van Robinson CrusoŽ' (1939-1942), 'Pim's Wereldreis' (1943), 'Hel over Atlantis' (1947), 'Het Mechanisch Continent' (1947/48) and 'Chi-pek-we' (1950/51).