A Day in the Life of Soho Street Artist, Nick Walker

You’ve probably noticed British artist Nick Walker’s love letters to New York while walking around the city – his iconic Vandal character can be found spraying “I Love New York” on walls across Manhattan. Beyond that, Walker’s stencil murals and paintings adorn walls around the world, and have helped to define the genre that is known as street art and urban art today. The Bristol-born artist now calls New York home, where he and his girlfriend live, work, eat and play in their favorite neighborhood: Soho. We sat down with Walker to find out his favorite Soho spots, and a snippet of his daily life living and working as an artist in Soho.


How do you start your day?

Nick Walker: I start the day at my local for a cup of coffee, Ground Support Café on West Broadway. After I’m sufficiently caffeinated, I take my pug Robert for a walk through the neighborhood. We love a little morning tour through Soho: up Broome down Greene or Mercer, over to Prince or West Houston and back down West Broadway. There’s a bunch of vendors on Spring who all know Robert, so we pass by there to say hi – he’s a social little chap. Other than that, me and my girl take him to Washington Square Park so he can hang with the big dogs. Then back to my home studio for stencil cutting or emails for a few hours.


So you work from a home studio?

NW: Partly… I have a larger studio in Williamsburg for big, messy works, and my main studio is my home studio. It’s big enough to paint average sized works, take care of emails and proposals, and of course, it’s where my girlfriend Zinnia cuts my stencils. We spend a lot of time at home working, so it’s great to live in such a vibrant neighborhood to escape to when we take breaks.


How about an after work pint?

NW: Sometimes Toad Hall to play pool –- it’s the last place to shut down around here at night. But I’ve always preferred the vibe next door at Lucky Strike, it was the first bar I went to when I came to New York back in 1992 and it still feels authentic. Fanelli’s on Mercer is also good, and they have a great menu. If I want something stronger, I generally go to The Spaniard over on West 4th, they have great food too.


Where would you take a client for dinner?

NW: The same places that I go to regularly myself, definitely Raoul’s on Prince. It has an old school vibe, great food, and reminds me of the New York I remember from the early 90s. If I’m alone or with friends, I love Pepe Rosso on Sullivan for great Italian.


Lastly, do you have any murals in Soho?

NW: My latest mural is up on Lafayette and Broome!


Interview by Lori Zimmer