Janne Pättikangas: Where basketball meets art

Basketball photographers capture the heart of the action and give us images that we can remember forever. But for artists, they give that fan an entirely new experience of the game that was never thought possible.

While still images bring the supporters closer to the action because they were not able to attend or watch the event, an artistic portrait gives us a new insight into the raw emotion of basketball that makes you sit and stare in sheer awe.

Enter Janne Pättikangas, a 42-year-old artist from Kauhajoki, a small town in the west of Finland. Pättikangas is a huge basketball fan and whilst watching this year’s Euroleague Final Four gained inspiration and let the event in Madrid come to life.

His vision, and his artwork was heavily praised on Twitter once uploaded them.

TB reached out to Janne from his home town for a Q&A session as we looked for an insight into his passion for basketball and art.

TB: How did you get into both basketball and art?

JP: My 14-year-old son plays basketball at our local youth European basketball league (EYBL) and of course in the Finnish youth leagues. In addition, I am very close of team Karhubasket who plays in the men’s Finnish league, premier division. I love drawing and I saw some art elements that the sport of basketball brings. The players show so much emotion and I knew I could turn that into artwork.

How long have you been creating these stunning works of art, particularly with basketball players?

That’s been my hobby for a few years, around the last two years now. How can I say, it’s taking a lot of time and I am trying to get better and better every day. I have done all kinds of stuff with other sports but for me personally basketball is my number one choice, no question.

What made you want to combine them both?

As I said, it’s really about the raw and real emotions of the basketball players. At first I made some promotional pictures from basketball games but I like most of pictures where I can use my imagination, and if that’s a specific player, that means I can be really detailed and get better results.

I see that you use actors to blend in with your basketball drawings. Why is that?

Haha … that really happened by accident and maybe I was trying too hard, but in the end, I was told that it looked cool. There was some kind of theme on Final Four, which player will be this and that.

On a personal level: what is your favourite piece?

My favorite picture is of Semih Erden. I just love how well it came out.

What were your thoughts on the Euroleague Final Four?

This year’s Euroleague Final Four was awesome, and the right team won for me. It must have been a special moment for anyone sitting inside the Barclaycard Center on that night. For me, the Final Four was cool because the four teams involved want to win and they have come this far in doing so that they don’t want to slip up, and so that meant more passion and more feeling than ever and it really inspired me to create pieces of art for the fans to look at.

Oh man, that was our next question … did the right team win?

Oops, my apologies. Well, Real Madrid have a great team and they played very good basketball on all levels. Andres Nocioni, well, I guess you can’t forget how important some role players are, and role players are every coaches dream. Another thing, despite losing both games, the passion of Fenerbahce was amazing. It was their first time in the Final Four and they were excellent.

To view all of Janne’s work, give him a follow on Twitter: @JPsportart