Roopa Basu is a Wandsworth based artist and designer, who alongside her husband Indika, is the co-owner of the Print Design studio on Lavender Hill. Roopa is the artist behind the Council’s 2023 Shop Local artwork.
Tell us a bit about your journey into the industry
My journey into the creative industry has been dynamic. I started as a student in art and architecture, exploring various forms like music and visual arts. Mine has been unique path that has taken me from India to the USA and back to the UK, with my work reaching a global audience.
Which businessperson do you most admire and why?
Choosing one businessperson to admire is challenging, but if I had to highlight someone, it would be the legendary Dolly Parton. Her entrepreneurial spirit goes beyond music, as seen with her philanthropy like the Dollywood Foundation, and the Imagination Library, a book-gifting program that now distributes 1m books a month to children worldwide. Dolly’s ability to leverage her success for positive impact and her resilience in the face of challenges is truly inspiring.
Does entrepreneurship run in your family?
Not at all! I come from a line of staunch academics. Whilst it doesn’t run in my family, I’ve always been drawn to the idea of carving my own path. This fuelled my determination to pursue a career that blends creativity and entrepreneurship.
What three tips would you offer to a creative thinking of starting their own business?
1) Build a Strong Network – cultivate meaningful relationships early on. Collaboration and connections can lead to exciting opportunities.
2) Embrace change and stay adaptable – the creative landscape is ever evolving and the ability to pivot and learn new skills is crucial.
3) Value your craft – your skills are invaluable, don’t underestimate your worth and expertise.
If you had the opportunity to do it all again, what would you do differently?
I don’t think I would change anything. Every step in my journey – the ups and the downs – I embrace them all as they have all been part of the learning curve.
In terms of your business, what are you most proud of?
This year, I’ve been really proud of my intergenerational art installation (pictured) that brought together over 50 students from South Thames College and elderly citizens from the local community. Presented at the London Design Festival and housed at the Nine Elms Pavilion, this collaboration was a poignant exploration of ‘Truth,’ where visual arts, performing arts and music students responded creatively to the wisdom shared by senior members.
What would you tell your 15-year-old self?
“Don’t be shy and make your camera your best friend! Film random moments, and maybe even dance in front of a camera. Trust me, it’s not weird; it’s called ‘content creation,’ and you’ll thank me when it explodes.”
What do you like most about being in Wandsworth?
Being based in Wandsworth is a true source of joy, that is intimately connected to the vibrant tapestry of my life… Weathering storms like the Clapham Junction riots and surviving the challenges of Covid, we’ve not only sustained our business but also built connections that span a vast cross-section of society. The local community feels like family, fostering an environment that continually supports and inspires my creative work. Contributing to the local arts scene, whether through exhibits or our high street business, is not just fulfilling, it’s an integral part of the rich and diverse narrative of Wandsworth.