Mark Janssen (1974) is an illustrator who studied at the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design. He creates illustrations for both children’s and adults’ publications. Whether he works with a paintbrush and paint or produces digital illustrations depends on the nature of the project. He often feels that the most delightful stories deserve the most delightful techniques: old-fashioned drawing and painting. The first children’s book he illustrated was Mijn vriend de sjeik [My Friend - The Sheik] by Ulf Stark. Since then he has illustrated some 300 children’s and picture books and has worked for almost all of the main publishers in the Netherlands and Belgium. His books have been translated into more than 10 languages.
MidzomernachtHe enjoyed stepping into Miffy’s world and having the iconic children’s book character visit his studio. As an artist who loves the world of children’s books, he wanted to create a visual story in which Miffy plays a role. Rather than simply coating the icon in paint or dressing her up, he presents her as a character in time and space. As if she is actually there, not only as herself, but also as Miffy who has stepped into the world of Mark Janssen. Of his Miffy statue Midzomernacht [Midsummer Night], he says: ‘Friends on a clear night, lit by moon and stars. Are they resting after a long journey, or are they sad about something? All you hear is violin and a trumpet. The wordless image invites the viewer to complete the story. Where have they come from and where are they going?’