Iisakki Ratilainen is an artist born in Joensuu, Finland in 1986. From 1994 to 2000, he took art lessons and got a Certificate in Basic Education in the Arts. During high school, Iisakki successfully completed an art diploma on the subject “Light and Colours of A Landscape”.
After this Iisakki had a longer break on frequent art making, painting only every now and then. Instead, he was composing and producing music in various genres, and studied mathematics and physics at the University of Eastern Finland, alongside a swimming career during which he was part of the Finnish national swimming team that took him, for example, to the 2011 World Championships.
In 2012, Iisakki moved to Germany and ended his swimming career one year later with the feeling that he had achieved his physical limits in the sport. Iisakki continued his studies and completed a Master’s degree in Mathematics with Physics as a minor subject in 2016. After graduation, Iisakki looked for work in his field of study but during interviews he felt that it would be something else that he was looking for. To have reliable income, Iisakki started to work as a lifeguard at the local swimming pool while continuing to create music.
Art came slowly back to Iisakki’s life and he started to paint regularly again. Painting with acrylic colours on a canvas became his main medium. Landscapes and nature are often seen in his paintings and especially Finnish sceneries have stayed in Iisakki’s repertory with snowy winter views and forests with birch trees, typical for Finland. Iisakki is often painting from a reference photo but he also has many paintings with freely invented sceneries. He prefers to have a clear nameable object which is implemented slightly distorted or “blurry”.
“It should be right away possible to say what is in the picture, but also to see that it is a painting with its brushstrokes, scratches and other traces from production.”
Meanwhile Iisakki continues to produce electronic music under the artist name “iisample” and is a member of a German hip-hop group “Outta Office”. For both projects, Iisakki has created multiple album artworks and has filmed and edited music videos.