The one who draws, founder of Redanredan, entrepreneurial mastermind
I’m Linda Saukko-Rauta, a graphic recorder and a sketchnoter, and Redanredan is my company that I founded in 2010. I do graphic recording at seminars, events and workshops and these days of course remote graphic recording. I also do other illustrations and strategy visualizations.
I started out by drawing comics about my teeny-tiny life as a Swedish teacher and ended up doing business.
How did I become an illustrator?
I am often asked if I am a trained graphic designer or a visual artist. Well, I’m not. I don’t consider myself to be an artist, but I do think I’m a communicator, and I guess the MA with a Nordic philology-English-Finnish twist is a degree that suits this job.
I’ve always drawn. My mother was an entrepreneur, too, and we had an office at home. You had to be quiet if there were customers or if she needed to concentrate. When I was drawing I wasn’t making too much of a noise, I suppose.
At school, of course, I was a sketcher. I drew cartoons and caricatures of teachers. When I was in middle school, I also made my very first commission work: I drew a menu for a tex-mex restaurant and received a gift card as a reward. I got my cultural education from the local cinema, Sky Channel and MTV.
In high school, I started to develop my own cartoon language. I was labeled as an artist but it was natural in those days and in that town because I was into theatre and walked in the corridors in my big and clumsy techno boots – and I also drew strange things.
I still draw
When I went to study at the university – first in Umeå, Sweden, and then in Vaasa and finally Jyväskylä here in Finland – I took a break from drawing for a few years, except for sketches during those long and boring lectures.
I started sketching again during my teacher studies. My skills turned out to be a big benefit for a teacher. I continued that and then Facebook came and I decided to draw cartoon strips about the dreary life of a language teacher. After drawing a couple of years, I started a blog in 2009. My blog had been active for about a year, when I received the first request for quotation and I founded my own company.
I abandoned my post as a teacher for a job as an e-learning specialist and bought an iPad. All of a sudden I was sitting in meetings a lot and I got… um… a little bit bored. I started drawing what I heard, made it into pictures, created visual notes. By chance and by saying “Yeah!” I ended up with my iPad at the Nordic Business Forum event and the business scene here in Finland became very interested in what I was doing. At first, drawing was a side-show but in the fall of 2015 I made the decision to become a full-time entrepreneur. (I have not regretted.)
I am the most experienced digital graphic recorder in Finland. (Do I dare to say this? Well, I do!) In this job, everything I’ve done and experienced in the past is useful. In 2019 I was awarded the national sole entrepreneur award – the first time ever!
And I still draw.