The artist behind the Timo prints series is Timo Rännäli (1951- ). Timo was born in Finland but grew up in Kawerau, New Zealand. Timo's work is influenced by Picasso’s cubism and New Zealand artist Colin McCahon’s uncomplicated shapes and messages. He is inspired by Picasso’s courage to step out of the box and present art in such a strikingly different way to that which society was accustomed at the time of the post- Impressionist era. However, Rannali believes the biggest influence on his work has been from the 14 years he spent teaching art at primary school level. The children’s innocence and the stories behind their work caused a significant shift within his artistic self. “I would ask the children to tell me about their work, and they always had stories to go with it, if you gave them the freedom. I wanted to emulate that, from an adult perspective.” Timo soon realised that if he was to create ‘big’ vibrant pictures like the kids – he would have to curve the subject to fit it on the canvas. This was how his truly unique and distinctive composition was born. “Once you start stylising, you can exaggerate colour, you can exaggerate form and get away with it you know, but I just love that. You can sort of fall off the edge of my painting sometimes.”
Timo Rannali's “fish eye lens” style is both original and unrivaled. Often his paintings will have a story or running symbols, (like seagulls) which appear as “commentators to what’s going on.” Growing up within an immigrant family Timo is very aware of the way culture influences how people enjoy their environment. Much of his work is a commentary on the culture of the location he is painting. This ability to capture the emotional connection people have with their environment has been a key factor in Timo's success.