It’s said that art appeals most to people when it emotes human emotions. Rupa Sukhendu Basu keeps this thought alive every single day through her work. A former HR professional, Basu is an artist who believes that a painter has the ability to create magic. As an artist, Basu immerses herself in the vibrant hues, creating abstracts, forms and figures.

Rupa, who hails from Uttar Pradesh’s Allahabad, currently resides in Mumbai with her family. SheThePeople.TV spoke with Rupa Sukhendu Basu about her life as an HR professional and now as an artist, what inspires her, and how motherhood strengthens her independence.

What drew you to the canvas? How did you develop your interest in the field of art and crafts? Please tell us about the transition from being an HR professional to becoming an artist.

I was born into a family of artists, so, I was always passionate about art. Although I did choose a corporate career as an HR professional, I soon realised one cannot keep away from their passion for long. After working for several years in the corporate space, I gave up my job, with a huge encouragement from husband, and drew myself completely towards paints. While being in the HR space, I observed how human emotions and behaviours can be linked to art, and that is when I decided to bring them to the canvas. I started studying closely about emotions and started painting expressions.

I realised one cannot keep away from their passion for too long. 

My show AMURT depicted all kinds of emotions – being young at heart, compassion, childhood, a cancer survivor’s life, bonding, breakups, etc. As an abstract artist and a passionate poet, I paint in formless expressions, always backed up with a poem which tells the story of a painting.

While being in the HR space, I observed how human emotions and behaviours can be linked to art, and that is when I decided to bring them to the canvas.

What are the missing factors in the corporate world that changed your perspective towards life and surroundings in general?

It was a huge challenge to transit from being a corporate HR to fitting in the shoes of the artist. As an HR, I was on the other side of the table – handling grievance, taking up counselling through communication, etc, – all of which with time made me a better person. It helped me become more observant as a human being, and therefore it was easier for me to understand emotions and behaviours and incorporate those into my artworks.

How has social media and the digital world played a role in your life with regard to sharing your work around and its popularity?

The digital world has helped me in reaching out to a huge audience base. Social media has helped a great deal in creating a new space altogether with far better growth in work, too. With advancement in social media, there are now more connects and there’s a better understanding of the market demands in this field. Another benefit I’ve availed personally, is that the recognition that I’ve got not only in India, but also across the globe amongst art lovers and curators.

The digital world has helped in reaching out to a huge audience base. Social media has helped me a great deal in creating a new space altogether with far better growth in work, too.

Your work speaks volumes about textures and movements in their core abstraction. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I believe in expressing my work through a lot of mediums. I try to capture everything, that passes by me, and display it through an art form. I draw my inspiration from the nature around us and, when it comes to displaying emotions, I paint to express the message we humans can learn with the beauty, and even the destruction, around us. I like to play with thoughts. For example, if a river had a life what will it think as a human. In this regard, I try to paint that as the river never gets tired flowing, we humans should also learn to move along with the flow in life despite the hurdles and failure.

I draw my inspiration from the nature around us and, when it comes to displaying emotions, I paint to express the message we humans can learn with the beauty, and even the destruction, around us.

Rupa Basu

How do you work upon your creative routine?

I am a night owl. I love working late at night with the music on. The quiet setup gives me a sense of belonging. I first use the pen and paper to write the expression in the form of poetry and then take to the canvas to paint the expression that the poetry emotes.

First, I write the expression in the form of poetry and then take to the canvas to paint the expression that the poetry emotes.

What shaped your thought process about women being independent? Who are the women that have inspired you?

Women must be independent first by their own thought. It is only when they realise what independence really means that they can stand for themselves and touch greater heights. I am a true believer of the idea that a woman is a heart of the family and she should understand this beautiful gift that she is blessed with.

As for the inspiration, the list is huge but I’ll mention a couple of them. I’ve read and heard stories about Mother Teresa, and learned that you don’t have to be a mother to take care of a child, that motherhood is a gift all women are blessed with. I’ve always been an admirer of Indira Gandhi for her leadership skills. Coming to Sudha Murthy, she is truly an inspiration. Her generosity, calmness and selflessness empower me tremendously.

Women must be independent first by their own thought. It is only when they realise what independence really means that they can stand for themselves and touch greater heights.

There have been endless debates about women balancing work and home. What do you think is the reason that the society is still stuck to the stigmas attached to women?

It’ll be a lie if I say that it’s easy to balance home and work. It’s not. However, nothing that is worthy is easy and if there’s a strength within and a great support system outside, there’s nothing women cannot achieve. Support does not necessarily mean of a man’s, it can be any strength that can empower us to move ahead. In my case, my husband pushed me into pursuing the field where my passion always lay. His motivation has been a huge example for my children, too, of how a man must encourage and support the idea of equality. My mother-in-law and sisters-in-law have helped me in my journey, too, which again shows that women supporting women always leads to great things.

In my case, my husband pushed me into pursuing the field where my passion always lay and his motivation has been a huge example for my children, too, of how a man must encourage and support the idea of equality.

The society needs to understand that both men and women working together is how an ideal life is supposed to be. I would really want all families to encourage the talents they have regardless of gender.

How has being a mother led you to become an even better idealistic woman determined at work?

Motherhood is the most wonderful experience. The word “Maa” gives so much power. The level of patience I have achieved after becoming a mother has helped me immensely. Motherhood in itself is like a management course –  it teaches all the possible tactics to solve problems and move forward despite obstacles. The mother and child bond is also something that depicts in my work, too, with every day bringing in a new thought for me to paint.

Motherhood in itself is like a management course –  it teaches all the possible tactics to solve problems and move forward despite obstacles.

What would you like to advise fellow mothers who are aspiring entrepreneurs?

Keep your head high, and know that the sky is never the limit. If you have a dream, keep marching ahead to pursue it. Women are a powerhouse of emotions, talent and idealism. And, as I like to believe, there is a Goddess Durga in every woman and we have the ability to bring about a good change.

I want women to know that the sky is never the limit.

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