Behind The Artwork: Araki Koman

Araki Koman created the stunning monochrome mural in our creative coworking space, while her character and line illustrations were also adapted to use as large format wallpaper art on our top floor. We recently caught up with Araki to hear more about her background and hopes for this time next year…


I’m a designer and illustrator from Paris, currently living in London. I’ve been drawing since I was young. As a child I drew a lot of fashion illustration, with a lot of colour. But at 16 I had a creative block, because I felt I was not good enough. So, for 10 years I was not doing any art. I was at Business School and I travelled. But while travelling I realised I could have been an artist, because I was meeting creative people everywhere and discovering inspiration again. At the time I was doing a master’s degree in International Marketing, but these people I met were making a living from their art and made me think if I should consider my choices again.

After graduating I worked in online marketing, but I wasn’t happy where I was as I wasn’t using my real potential. So, I decided to move from Paris and do a 9-month Graphic Design course in London. During my studies I was mostly using digital tools. I was happy to recover my creativity but felt I could be happier sketching. In the end it was a simple pen that helped me unlock my creativity. It was sketching with the pen that I found my style.


For the mural on the first floor at This Time Next Year, well, that was actually quite stressful – it was a first for me and previously I’d never drawn on anything other than paper or textile. But it was also an interesting way to work, because the feeling of the drawings where different at a bigger-than-normal scale, while I was using different tools too. I was scared about losing my signature. But I’m really happy with how the mural came out as well, very happy with the result.

When I draw my work it’s in small format, the largest size is on A3. So, it was weird for me to see my small sketches become blown up and much bigger for the wallpaper. Again, I’m really, really happy with the wallpaper. It’s closer to my current minimalist style, closer to the direction I’d like to go in future with my work.


I’m really impressed with the interior design at This Time Next Year, the furniture selection and the design of the space. I especially love the third floor which is very airy and light. It’s a nice place to work as a creative and I’m sure it will be inspiring for the freelancers and companies who will work from there.

And where would I like to myself this time next year? I’m planning to move to Japan this Autumn and will be there for a minimum of a year. I will see what kind of artistic opportunities I will have, but my dream would be to live there longer term.

You can keep up to date with Araki’s latest work via her Instagram, Twitter and website, while you can purchase items from her online store.

Behind The Artwork: Nick Wakeling

Nick Wakeling from Impulse Prints is known for his unique mural art. Nick created the colourful mural on the pavement outside our workspace in addition to the window artwork on our ground floor. We recently caught up with Nick to discuss why he became an artist, his influences and his plans for year ahead…

BOOM5729I come from a non-art family background. I came into art by chance really. One day I started drawing random stuff and the family picked up on it. Next thing I know, I’m at Art College in Norwich Uni studying graphic design.

While I was there, I couldn’t really find my style but in my third and final year I found a strength in pattern making. I was finding inspiration from Aboriginal and Egyptian art, taking those patterns and using them within my own work.

BOOM5756After uni, one day my parents were having their wall decorated. They had ripped down all the old wallpaper and while waiting to replace it I just gave drawing on the empty wall a go. It took me about 3 days of solid work and it came out really well. Sadly, they went over with the new wallpaper – all that work lost! But then friends asked me to draw on their walls and here I am now.

I’ve been getting lots of commissions and it’s working out really well. Clients include Coco di Mama, Oculus, Kantar Added Value, Lomography, Global Street Art, Old Truman Brewery and the Peckham Bussey Building.

BOOM5798Normally I have the luxury of working inside with heating but the outside mural at This Time Next Year was a new challenge and a new surface to work on, in a way that I’ve never really approached before. It was great fun to research the project and plan it, but it was tricky at times battling with the very low temperatures and windy conditions at the start of the year. But it was great to work with a new surface and I think the colours came out better than the original plan. It was also great to work on such a large scale. It’s been one of my bigger projects to date so far. The electrical box added to the pavement mural and it all worked out in one and came out really well.

All the work that’s gone into This Time Next Year, it’s fantastic. It looks like a very original workspace, with lots of features. It’s great for bringing together different types of creative companies. I think it’ll be a very creative environment to work in.

The aim this year is to some bigger scale murals in Shoreditch and get my work seen there. I’ve just finished a mural in Penge, it seems to be an up and coming area to do street art. But I’m always keeping busy designing new murals and look forward to more people seeing my work.

You can look at Nick’s latest murals via his Instagram and Impulse Prints website

Meet Our Members: Ed, Fix The Music

Our regular Meet Our Members spot introduces you to the brilliant and creative people that have taken up residence here at This Time Next Year.

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Ed Southall



How do you take your tea/coffee?

I usually drink my coffee with oat milk. My favourite kind is a dirty chai latte; dirty because it has a shot of espresso in it.

What’s your favourite Waltham Forest hangout?

I live in Upton Park, but I only moved to the area about a month ago, so that’s a hard one to answer. Dorothée recommended a place around the corner, Luna. They have good live music there so that’s on my list to try.

Tell us the story so far…

I run a website for booking musicians for events, such as weddings and corporate events. We have around 1000 musicians based in the UK and around Europe. We put them in contact with people, event planners, wedding couples, who are looking for live musicians for their events. I’ve been doing it for about two and a half years. Before I started the business, I was a lawyer, but I wanted to break out and do something of my own. I’ve also been a musician all my life and it’s what I studied at university, so I wanted to start something that made use of that knowledge and skill. A couple of friends and I came up with the idea and it started from there. We’re still growing which is good. It’s all online connecting people, so it doesn’t really matter where the musicians and the clients are. We have musicians based all over the place and we have some musicians in the UK who do a lot of travelling.

Where will you be This Time Next Year?

I suppose, pretty much doing the same thing, but a lot more of it. Possibly with a bigger team; at the moment it’s me and one other person full time as well as a part time, freelance coder. At some point in the next year we’ll probably want to hire our first person, otherwise, continuing to grow the number of musicians we have. Just trying to be as big as possible really!

Take a closer look at FixTheMusic on their website:



Behind the Artwork: Mia Warner

Mia Warner is a traditional signpainter, calligrapher and hand-lettering artist based in East London. Mia is responsible for creating the bold ‘roll up your sleeves’ artwork on our 1st floor, painted during the cold spell when the ‘Beast from the East’ hit London. We managed to grab a chat over a drink to find out more about Mia’s passion for sign painting…

I grew up in the middle of the countryside, in Gloucestershire, very different from London. I went to Brighton to study graphic design and lived there for 4 years. And I feel that Brighton eased me into city life, as London now feels like a million miles away from where I was raised.


Studying graphics was quite an interesting experience as it almost taught me more about what I didn’t want to do rather than what I did. As much as admire and appreciate graphic design I didn’t have a very natural talent with it. But I was very drawn to typography and the processes that happen before fonts become digital. I had a really good tutor in the 2nd year that introduced me to all of those processes. He introduced me to calligraphy and sign writing. He showed me some incredible signwriting artists that are working like Joby Carter, who paints all of his incredible carnival rides and machines. I was introduced to a few calligraphers and books and it all just spiralled from there.

It’s been quite a slow-burning process from uni. I moved to London and was working as a live-in nanny for a while and doing the odd A-board. I just started getting asked about more boards, then bigger boards and then food trucks and shop fronts. And it got to the point where I was able to jump in full-time.


I’ve always been very excited by it. It was a passion that I always had, but I didn’t know I had before. I loved bubble writing when I was a kid at school, I was more obsessed with the covers of my school books rather than the content. I think it’s always been there, it just took that path to make me realise I could do it as a job.

The This Next Time Year project was a bit of a dream to be honest. I was approached and from the off they wanted to use local artists. And I really value clients who have an investment like that. So, from the off I had an idea of what was wanted. I was given a strong and punchy phrase ‘roll up your sleeves’ and given free reign. It was a lot of fun to have a play and run ideas past the team. I wanted to make something that would stand out yet work in the space.

So, where will I be this time next year? I’ve recently started collaborating a lot more with other signwriters working in London. We’re speaking about putting on an exhibition and working on some big group projects. I’m very happy with what I’m doing now, so want to carry on as I am but involving other signwriters with more collaborative projects.

See more of Mia’s work via her website and Instagram.

Hire our space

Our space is the perfect location for photoshoots, filming, product launches, team–building days, talks and workshops. With lots of natural light and city views, it’s the perfect environment to get creative and inspire.

We have a ready made event space on the top floor with extra high ceilings, a communal kitchen and lots of seating. Our HD projector and ceiling mounted speaker system will ensure your presentations are seen and heard at the best quality.

Visit our website to take a look around and book a visit.