LONDON has a lot to boast about when it comes to street art.
The most famous of these belong to the notorious Banksy, with works in Portobello Road, Regent’s Canal and Islington.
But you may have noticed a series of brightly coloured murals dotted about the city. These are the work of Nick Wakeling – an Oscar-winning artist who sidelines as a mural painter.
He has worked on the acclaimed short film The Silent Child that won an Oscar for Best Live Action Short in 2018.
During the 9-to-5 working hours London-based Nick resides in the heart of Soho where he operates as a colourist in the leading film and television post-production company Molinare that boasts credits such as Killing Eve and The Crown.
His day job in colour-grading – a hybrid between visual effects and cinematography – involves contributing to the mood and final look of a film, but in his spare time Nick paints large murals across the city under the name of his company Impulse Prints.
His murals can be spotted across London including on the sides of major streets in Forest Hill, Shoreditch, Camden Town and Soho, however, the artist also works on commission.
His recognisable colourful patterns decorated the walls of Italian restaurant Coco Di Mama in White City, American diner Harlem Soul in Hoxton and the Barbican Centre.
The artist described his style of pattern as ‘a range of spontaneous shapes produced from objects I have seen in my daily life’.
He explained: “Whether it will be walking to the shops or a trip on the Tube, I see certain shapes and produce patterns from them.
“I also get a lot of inspiration from Aztec, Egyptian and Aboriginal art, which I combine together to form a piece.”
London street art has ‘exploded’
Following an illustration degree from Norwich School of Art and Design, he moved to London to pursue a career in film and television but, inspired by the bustling capital, he continued spending hours doodling and creating patterns as a hobby.
Nick said: “The culture scene in London, especially with street art and commissions, has exploded over the last decade.
“It was always inspiring to see graffiti on the train tracks as a child but as time has followed, many people have pushed art to a new level and artists are making careers from their amazing work.
“For me, Shoreditch is the home of art in London – people come from all over the globe to feature their work there and it has made the area burst with colour.”
But it was not until his parents, who noticed his passion for art and talent, suggested their son paint their living room that he considered turning his hobby into a business.
The artist said: “Obviously in the past being young drawing on walls was a massive red flag but this time they actually allowed me to do it.”
It took him three days to complete the personal project and after posting a photo of his work on Facebook and Instagram, people impressed by his skill started contacting him for commissions.
While Nick still works on projects with major clients, he promised to remain true to his murals.