Over the past six years, whether it be retro railway signs or murals of famous Elizabethan actors, Lionel Stanhope has been slowly transforming the streets of London. 

Prior to street art, he worked with theatre and film sets. However, he followed street art ever since he was 18. He found his passion in it just six years ago at a Brockley street-art festival. He took part by spray-painting a shop-shutter with the SE4 postcode. is work was well regarded. People who admired his work commissioned him for other projects, and ever since, a simple gig has snowballed into a career.

Over time, he has created roughly 60-70 pieces of artwork, but he likes to point out that he "stopped counting at about 50". His artwork is strewn across London and you’ll have inevitably come across his work. His talent has not gone unnoticed and projects have even been commissioned in Wales and Kent. 

The community is at the forefront of many projects. A number have been commissioned by residents’ groups in association with Network Rail. In many cases, “different colour versions have been proposed to residents who have been able to vote on Facebook polls”. This means that locals can feel a connection to the artwork since they have partaken in the selection process.

He receives interesting feedback from the public whilst spray-painting. On the first couple days, no one takes notice as he is simply outlining the artwork, however, as time goes on, people become more and more curious. He finds that many older people have negative connotations about spray-painting, but his art has won them over. 

Most of his work is commissioned. “I’m not very good at designing” he claims – his true talent is in the process of painting the work. He uses the graphic software ‘procreate’ to assemble a few images together which he’ll then use as reference for his work. On most occasions, Stanhope works with talented assistants since the work is time-consuming.

At the moment he is working on a piece of artwork at Leake Street – a surreal underground tunnel filled to brim with graffiti. Stanhope states that he prefers to do indoor work during the winter months as spray-painting is a weather-dependent trade. “If there’s rain or wind it could ruin your whole plan and another time will have to be arranged” he points out. He has a broad range of skills – recently he has also been involved in scenery for fashion shows. 

Within six years, Stanhope has produced a formidable medley of work. He shows no sign of slowing down. Keep your eyes peeled next time you catch the train!