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The Localist
Ask The Artist

Ask the Artist: Laura Wickstead

Artist Laura Wickstead is already a good pal of Hox – anyone dropping into our Holborn digs can’t fail to have noticed her handiwork, with a whole wall in the lobby given over to a striking, large-scale mural piece.

Originally from the North-West (and via a pitstop in Liverpool), Laura is now based in London, and specialises in abstract forms that simultaneously exude calm alongside bold and playful vibes.

So when it came to kitting out Shepherd’s Bush Hox, Laura’s artwork was the natural choice to partner the fluid, geometric design of the 237 bedrooms. She has created two prints just for SheBu featuring organic shapes and earthy tones, in her signature style.

We persuaded her to set down her brush for a second and chat through her inspiration, career and city highlights.

Tell us a little bit about you and your career…

I’m originally from the North West but have lived in West London for the past five years and am a self-taught artist. I built my art career from the ground up by grafting, adapting and never giving up. I worked in office jobs throughout my twenties, but always worked on my art on the side and slowly but surely I built up a portfolio of artwork, projects, commissions. I became a full-time artist last year and it’s been an amazing journey so far.


What inspired the art you created for us at Shepherd’s Bush?

All my paintings start with playing around with organic shapes to see what kind of interesting forms I can create. I often take inspiration from nature, sculptures or architecture to achieve this. For Shepherd’s Bush, I did a lot of free-form sketching with expressive pencil marks to create two playful pieces in earthy tones and minty hues.

All my paintings start with playing around with organic shapes to see what kind of interesting forms I can create.”

Do you have any tips for aspiring artists?

Keep going. Hone your style, show off your work and keep pushing forward as you honestly never know who is watching. Also, in today’s comparison culture, it’s a good idea to avoid looking sideways at what other people are doing and instead just focus on your own work.


What’s your favourite thing about being an artist in London? 

I would have to say the most magical thing is seeing my art pieces in places I could only dream of when I was younger. I’m constantly walking around this city in awe of its beauty so when you actually feel part of it, it’s a real ‘pinch me’ moment.


Quickfire round! North or South of the river?

Both! [laughs] I love exploring the whole of London.

Favourite Hoxton?

Ooo, that’s a toughie – all amazing but after staying at Shepherd’s Bush, it’s stolen my heart.

Most under-hyped restaurant in London?

Park’s Kitchen in Ealing – best Korean food in the city.

Best West green space… Hyde Park or Kyoto Gardens?

Hyde Park is gorgeous and the people-watching is next level.

We are hyped to have Laura’s bespoke artwork in two London Hoxs, so whether you’re popping over to Holborn for a coffee in the lobby or spending the night with us in Shepherd’s Bush, you’ve got the chance to soak up her fabulous style in person. Trust us, it’s art-warming stuff.

Catch her on Instagram