Ich Bin Kentishtowner: Nick Terry, artist, 27

The acclaimed local street artist on drinking at Quinn’s, scoffing “meat and chips” – and why he hates cloves

‘My most unappealing habit? Reading words backwards.’ Photo: Nick Terry
Nick Terry has lived in Kentish Town for all his life, apart from four years in Botswana as a child. He studied at Central St Martin’s and Leeds College of Art and now works at a print studio in Shoreditch. He uses a diverse range of media, including screen-printing, taping and paper-cutting, his recognisable geometric shapes allowing for playful interactions between his art and its audience.

When are you happiest?
Once a year, being king of the birthday BBQ ritual, surrounded by mates.

Where would you like to live?
A blue house. I’ve spotted ones on Kelly Street, Leighton Grove and Bartholomew Villas.

What is your favourite sound or smell?
I like the sound of the choir practicing in the church at the end of the garden, and I love the smell from Subway. I’m sure they pump it out throughout the day to draw people in.

What is your greatest life achievement?
Curating a group exhibition titled ’10 Pubs / 10 Artists’, on Queen’s Crescent in 2012. Artists and pubs are a good mix.

‘As a kid I painted a neighbourhood postbox green’. Photo: NT

What is your earliest memory?
Getting my first bike from Chamberlaine’s, aged 6, and learning to ride it around Rochester Square.

What makes you unhappy?
Memories of falling off that same bike and breaking my arm.

What simple thing would improve your quality of life?
Ipswich Town’s promotion to the Premiership.

What is your most unappealing habit?
I start reading words backwards which winds myself up more than anyone. It’s something I taught myself when I was ill in bed surrounded by posters.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Meat and chips with garlic, chilli, ketchup and mayo.

Where do you hang out?
Quinn’s! A late night licence with legendary owners.

‘I once saw a leopard up a tree and thought I could live like that.’ Photo: NT

Who or what do you hate and why?
Cloves, biting into one is enough to destroy Xmas for me.

What’s been your best experience ? Worst?
Best: Having my first solo show at Flaxon Ptooch salon/gallery a few years back.
Worst: Getting my Euro 1996 football coin collection taken from me in a side street, aged 9.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My hair when Drini from above salon is on holiday.

What’s the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
“Sorry, your insurance doesn’t cover that.”

Tell us a secret.
As a kid I painted a neighbourhood postbox green.

What did you do today?
I’ve hung two pictures up that just came back from the framers, finished and photographed a rooftop mural, and watched an episode of Band of Brothers.

Describe yourself as an animal.
Leopard. I once saw one up a tree at sunset with its dinner and thought I could live like that.

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For more on Nick and to look at his work see his website here


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