Photo by Â©Garrison Buxton
This year’s #wellingcourtmuralproject was chill. I didn’t make a crazy plan to shoot video like I did last year. It was a lot of fun, but an intense process under the hot sun. Painting, and shooting film can get complicated with the weather, camera angles, and time. On a time lapse you have to stick to the piece from beginning to end, and try to finish it all in one day. This means I have to prepare a piece that is a lot more graphic and simple. It’s tough, and when it’s crazy hot even worse! I love the video fun though, hopefully next year. This year I needed to chill. Every wall is an opportunity to produce something new and bring forth a new experience. I reached out to Daniella, a young sistah who loves graffiti, and street art. She was down to help me prep the wall and learn how we do what we do. She was very excited so I decided to turn it into a PROJECT GIRLZ aerosol workshop! It was a lot of fun. She is now officially part of the women youth team that comes together every year on my walls, pop-up shops, and exhibits. Their assistance is greatly appreciated, and I enjoy passing on all that I have learned to them. Each one is going to art school and pursuing the arts so it’s perfect! Daniella got the hands on aerosol skills scoop which reminded me of the many times I taught other women the same on their “come up” – It makes me smile as I look back in time and remember. Ha! time flies, amazing what the years reveal. If you have good values instilled in you then all shall be well. Today I see young people with a lot more supportive parents in the aerosol arts which means this generation is gonna be allright’. We have done our job right! Community spaces like Welling Court allow young women like Daniella to experience a welcoming environment to paint. YES, it’s easier for young people in the urban arts these days. We didn’t have it that way. We carved out what didn’t exist. In the end that’s it’s everything we strived for when we were her age. We made the way….a place to paint in peace and not be harassed by the cops, a place to make friends, and a place to learn valuable skills from each other. It’s what 5Pointz was all about. Today we only have Welling Court, because other spaces are on another agenda. @daniellaharris has since been practicing, and painting her own characters. Happy to see her on the path to the artist she aspires to be. Thank you for the company, Joe’s flicks, and the yummy pizza!!! Good times:) Lot’s of love and thanks to organizers Allison and Garrison Buxton for a lovely summer at Wellingcourt. It’s what brings “good peoples” and a positive community vibe together.
Daniella Harris and Toofly / PROJECT GIRLZ hands on aerosol skills workshop:)
Sinned and his beautiful wife hangin’ under the sunshine:) Fun day to paint with good peoples <3
Toofly Welling Court, Astoria Queens NYC 2016
Shout out to the #PROJECTGIRLZ team Ana, Nicole, Tati, and Daniella! Keep up the good work ladies. I see you!Share No comments
The #LoveWarrior art print exhibition this summer was lovely!!! THANK YOU NEW YORK. I am very happy I teamed up with @MyPlasticHeart to introduce ::: ALL ::: of my new print works. I’ve been working on the series since 2012. It has been a long process. One that materialized from new found love, and timeless freedom to create. The dedicated work ethic is in all of us if we can take it seriously. Sometimes it’s years before your next “heart felt” experience…when it hit’s you, you have to ride that wave of Â bliss all the way to the end. Folks…this is not pop art, or an urban art style almost anyone can replicate using technology, high contrast photo icons, and splattered paint with graffiti tags. Anyone bored of that yet? – This, and other reasons why the illustrations in this series spotlight something completely new to bring ya’ll back to what original works of art look, and feel like. Honestly, we need it. Freedom Dreamer, Mas Amor, Free Spirit and the rest of the series are meant to be “felt” by the human heart, and vibrate back. Screens divide many of us these days, it’s nice that we can re-connect live and direct. For those of you who can appreciate all of what I am talking about in this post ((( Thank You ))) I refuse to compromise to anything else. Your attendance at the opening meant a lot to me for all these reasons and more. I am not in New York as often, and in time it will be less and less. From now on each event, workshop, exhibit, wall, or pop-up will be organized with special care so that we can meet once again as a creative family. WE BUILT THIS CITY!!! — Shout out to the beautiful, and diverse group of individuals who took part in the #lovewarrior experience.
In case you missed it —-> here’s a few photos by Alexandra Henry and TF. Video by Nancy Burneo coming soon!!! Once we get that the post will be complete.
My Plastic Heart <3
Shout out to the #lovewarrior team! @CraftyCocktales ladies for the michelada dinks, Yvey & Ana for holding down the pop-up shop corner, and Alexandra Henry and Nancy Burneo for documenting the event. Big ups to My Plastic Heart too! for a smooth and fun experience at the gallery/shop. To all my friends, and family, as well as the supporters of my work love and huggggggz! See ya in the fall for the year+holiday wrap up <3Share No comments
SAVE THE DATE! – Press Release coming soon…
“Native Soul” One of my first sketch/ink drawings that set off the “Love Warrior” series…
The original ink drawing was damaged by my ice tray ( bad habit ) but I scanned and cleaned it up in photoshop to save the digital image.
I made a 16″X 16″ black & white giclee print that many loved and went on to become a limited line of totes at the pop-up shops held in summer and Holiday. The print is available on the shop ( limited QTY ) —> www.tooflynyc.com/shop $100.00US – ships worldwide.
Because April is a super rainy month in Ecuador, I decided it was the perfect time to start painting! I can’t go outside my patio much to soak up some sunshine and care for my garden. I’m indoors with music, paint, and an array of illustrations that are ready to bloom. Construction of my art studio is on hold for now so I set up a little corner in my office to rock. I can’t wait to have a whole floor dedicated to my paintings! I get excited when I think about it. When it’s ready I will go BIG YEO! Until then Native Soul, and the entire LOVE WARRIOR series will take form day by day. Will this become a print by June’s “Love Warrior Art Print Exhibit ” at my Plastic Heart ??? not sure…follow IG! and save the date JUNE 24th NYC!!!
Follow the process on IG: @TOOFLY_NYCShare No comments
I’ve been having a lot of fun lately with the items on my shop. It’s finally taking shape and in the direction I want it to go. Every year I release a new item, and a new color way for the up coming summer or holiday pop-up shop. The “New York City” T’ is a favorite and this season we have it all in 3 colors! — Black, White, and Heather Grey. Good times with my cousin Eliana who modeled them as we cranked up some 90′s Hip Hop. Â I will always love New York and this is my way of showing my city some luv with an original handstyle!
New York City T’ by Toofly $25 —>Â www.tooflynyc.com/shop
Model: Eliana Gutierrez, Quito EcuadorShare No comments
Heading to Peru tomorrow! – Happy for the invitation to participate in #LatidoAmericano’s festival for the next 15 days. It’s going to be HOT. Literally…summer weather is at hand and it’s not as fun under the hot sun to paint but we’ll see how it goes. This year it is being held in Callao, Peru near a beach which will help with the sea breeze. Last time I was in Peru in 2013 the painting/festival experience was not at all fun and I was not very happy with what I painted. I’m confident this event will be hella on point with Entes & Pesimo leading the festival. The equipment, paint, and treatment for the artists is a lot more professional. Whew! Here we go. Bags are all packed…now if I can only find my sketchbook!?! I have no idea what I’m going to paint yet…I’ll let the wall speak back to me when I get there…
Follow the process on instagram: @TOOFLY_NYC
Back from Peru! Getting these blog posts up is getting harder and harder guys…Many of the flicks are now up on Facebook, and Instagram if you want to check them out just hashtag #latidoamericano. I would love to sit here for hours like I used to and write and post all my favorite moments but lately this blogging thing is not as fun anymore. Living in the moment, and no longer really caring to post much once it has all passed. This may change or it may not. I’m open to your thoughts.
Toofly X Oz Montana Collaboration, Callao, Peru 2016 #LatidoAmericano
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The Toofly “Free Spirit” Sweatshirt released this past Holiday season was a hit! Unfortunately they SOLD OUT at the Toofly Holiday Pop-up Shop this past December. We are preparing a whole new batch for the Spring. Don’t miss it! If your in Brooklyn you can cop the last few that are left at FRESTHETIC. $47.00
“Free Spirit” is a very special illustration. I started it in during the construction of my first home. Everything I had built up to that point came together. The “Love Warrior” journey was complete. I decided at this point that all my illustrations from the past 4 years would become full color large paintings and so I began the process.
Once it was finished I began with the ink version as a black & white print. “Free Spirit” 16″X16″ giclee print coming soon! www.tooflynyc.com/shop
Once the ink version was complete I moved on to canvas. Studio sessions are a lovely way to reconnect with spirit. Your alone, and your breathing takes on a different pace. Your mind escapes and time no longer exists.
“Free Spirit” and many new paintings are at work for a solo exhibition. Follow the process on my instagram page ( @TOOFLY_NYC) Â and facebook page ( /TOOFLY ) Â for the latest news.Share No comments
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! It’s 2016 wow…I’m a little late on this post. Warmi Paint Festival kicked my ass ya’ll. I am not ready to talk about it just yet so I am gonna move forward with the rest of my posts before they pile up again. Sorry for the delay! – More about that soon. I thought I was going to spend the Holiday’s in Quito but a last minute trip to NY came up just in the nick of time. I was hella happy because I had cancelled all my trips at the end of the year just to get through all the legal shit with the event. I cancelled Colombia, Peru, NY, and ART BASEL that I enjoy attending at the end of the year. It made me very sad, but because the 5Pointz case is now in motion the lawyers set me up for the deposition. I had a week to prepare for the trip and made the best of it. I scheduled a super quick Holiday Pop-Up shop in BK, and got a chance to spend Xmas and New Years with my beloved NY fam. It was a cozy fam style Â year even though it was mad hot! Damn Xmas eve was like 70 degrees yeo WTF is going on with the weather? Did you guys feel that. We had to rock some shorts and tank tops that day with all the home cooking indoors. Last time it was that hot was 1996…I remember us outside in shorts and timbs with the snow melting away. Memories….anyway back to my post. Looking back all I can say is that 2015 was a good year but a tough one at the end because I got involved in a monster project I was unprepared for. I rocked it though in true “Toofly Style” Lessons were felt hard, and my heart got a little colder. That is not a good thing for TOOFLY! No no no…but those damn ignorant fools and fucked up system don’t make it easy to love everyone and everything man. The more good you try to do in life more shade you will experience. It’s ill…human behavior is ill mujer or hombre. One thing is for sure everyone’s true colors reveal themselves in time. In the end the universe takes care of it all. Lauryn Hill explains it best “LOST ONES”Share No comments
#warmipaint – words and more flicks coming soon!
Warmi Paint 2015 Internacional an llegado a Quito, Ecuador Nov 12, 2015! Aqui con Lady Pink.
Martha Cooper Confrence Photo by Â©Alexandra Henry
LADY PINK Photos by Â©Carlos Duran
PANMELA CASTRO ( Anarkia )
LA SUERTE Â© Deluxtoy
LILI CUCAÂ @marthacoopergram
VERO RIVERA Â©Deluxtoy
BELU LOOPS Photo by Â©Deluxtoy
LIE Photo by Â©Deluxtoy
Warmi Paint Bus!
BLN BIKE Photo by Mavizu
ABUSA CREW @marthacoopergram
Gracias a todos!!! #warmipaint
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Where do I begin?
The Asuncion, Paraguay trip was an experience unlike any other Iâ€™ve had. Eight women artists from Latin America where invited to participate in the 1st ever Bienal the country has ever had.Â Toofly ( Ecuador ) Abusa Crew ( Chile) Ledania ( Colombia ) Zumi ( Argentina) Norka ( Bolivia ) Shalak ( Canada)Â Â Sofia Maldonado ( Puerto Rico )Â andÂ Min 8 (Uruguay ) whoÂ were specifically chosen to represent their country and graffiti/street/mural works. In our eyes a Bienal is a well produced, large scale internacional contemporary art event with high standards. Many of us took the invitation serious. When we arrived the Bienal was anything but that. We have never experienced so much disorder, and miscommunication…
Luckily the locals in the graffiti culture had our back to get the basics in place the first few days so that we can at least start our walls. We made do with what was available and stayed positive…Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5…
DAY 6 We can finally start!!!???
Staying positive while we pay for our own meals…
I paint fast so I finished quickly. I also chose a wall I can use a ladder because the scaffold situation was troublesome. I was able to finish my piece in 3 days…luckily the drunk man who harrased me in the end didn’t get as aggressive when I offered him a soda. He would not leave me alone, and it got scary at one point. I asked for help from the local police in the area but they did nothing. I asked them to stick around until I finished but they left and I painted as quickly as possible before the drunk man came back. Many of the women painting experienced their own situation with aggressive behavior from men in the area, verbal abuse etc; A very frustrating and dangerous situation to work under especially when there is no one looking out for you and taking safety measures from the organization…
We had our bonding moments despite the issues in between…
Shout out to Oz Montania a local graffiti artist who looked out for us:) He WAS NOT part of the organizing team for the Bienal, but I think if he would of been and was consulted for his experience it would of helped us a ton! Darn…next time. We love you OZ!!!
DAY 7: Tuesday September 29, 2015
On the day we were ready to continue and possibly finish…we were faced with aggressive verbal abuse, and were unable to continue. We lost days in production to get to this point but when they don’t cover your meals, there is no transportation, no water, no security, no safety, and proper equipment you simply just can’t go on…
I would like to share what happened to all of us after a week of issues in hopes that anyone working to produce a public street/graffiti project in their country are aware that they need to have their shit together before they invite artists to create top notch level work. This is not a local graffiti jam taking place in your neighborhood for a day of fun, this is a Bienal. If you are inviting international artists from all over the world then your production plan has to be on point with an adequate budget.
The urban arts movement is the biggest in the world and we have the most impact on a social and community level. Our work changes lives especially young people in a positive manner. It is something we take seriously on many levels and are respected worldwide by other institutions and people. We spend hours, and days preparing to create a mural that will have an impact on the new generation of artists and the countries arts/culture movement. Our work would stay long after the Bienal is over…
Many of the artists arrived ready to work on large walls near the costaĂ±era part of Asuncion a week 1/2 before the launch of the Bienal. The walls were in terrible condition but we were determined to paint them and make them beautiful. The equipment arrived very late because the check promised to cover all production costs for the â€śFranja Grafiteraâ€ť arrived late. A huge problem for production organizer ( 1 person ) to move forward strategically, especially for an event that has be in the works 1 year in advance. Paint had to be ordered when we arrived because a feriado landed that weekend where everything closes early and for 2 full days. The scaffolds were extremely heavy, and not altogether with staff who was on vacation. This delayed the process of staring the mural work on time. Missing platforms, no wheels, etc; The workers that would help us move and set up the heavy equipment could not work until they were were payed and returned form a feriado weekend. We lost a full week.Â There were no ladders until the very end, and when they did arrive they were of heavy wood and metal that needed additional staff to help move for all 8 murals. Some of the scaffold set up at the wall were extremely dangerous because the floors were on a hill, broken glass, rocks. There was no expert safety on scene. There were days we had to cover our own food, and water. One of the most basic necessities for artists to work during very hot weather and with 10+ hours of work in a day. There was no transport to and from walls from a hostel, even after late nights to meet deadline. Our team of artists tried to solve problems as best we could but after a week+ of issues we broke. This was not a Bienal production at full potencial that we were expecting, theyâ€™re excuse â€śthis is Paraguayâ€ť The blame was passed on from one person to another. In the end no-one owned up to their responsibility. We had 2 days left of the Bienal and we decided that the Bienal, the people, and the country is not ready for what we are capable of. Our departures were scheduled on the day of the Bienal launch, one more reason to wonder “Do they really appreciate graffiti/street/ mural artists here?
Asi no se puede mas! Here is an example of the overall treatment we received. This was very dangerous for Abusa Crew to paint on…if I car would of passed by on the corner a serious accident could of went down. The brutal truth is there was no love for us here…
We got together to make one last attempt to speak to the organizers with a professional and respectful letter to make them aware of what we have been faced with during production. We hoped that the last few days we something could be done, but not much changed.
We gathered, talked, and decided as a group that we would leave behind one final message. One that will help them realize that they still need a lot of work to do to live up to the titles they want to represent.Â Â â€śEl Grito de la Libertadâ€ť the Bienals theme this year became a public protest by the Franja Grafitera to the Asuncion Bienal.
NO TENEMOS MIEDO A PINTAR CON DIGNIDAD! ASI NO! , RESITENCIA, ABORTO BIENAL 2015,Â DESPIERTEN! ,Â HAY QUE EDUCAR!
Press made an attempt to write about what happened. Article by ABC COLORÂ more in the week ahead I’m sure…Share No comments
Warmi Paintâ„˘ is an allÂ women arts, and cultureÂ festival ready to launch inÂ Quito, Ecuador this fall.Â A celebration of women streetÂ artists from Latin America who focus on; graffiti, street art, murals, and empowering others, especially young women through theirÂ colorful work. A group of local and international artists willÂ be selected by Maria “Toofly” Castillo and HTMÂ that will include countries likeÂ Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, and others.
Warmi = Woman in quechua, the name of a people of the central Andes of South America and their language. Women of all ages from this part of the world will create a new vision of themselves, nurture their community, and reflect a powerful message.
Special guests + 20Â women artists will paint collaborative murals, host workshops, andÂ present their life’s workÂ to the Ecuadorian community. We will have graffiti films, slideshowÂ presentations, panels, youth workshops, pop-up shops, and a live art DJ set! People of all ages will benefit from thisÂ uniqueÂ cross cultural exchange, and community building experience.
Help support artist/curator;Â TOOFLY (NYC), and artist/curator HTM (Ecuador) get started!Â http://warmipaint.tumblr.com/
Here’s our fundraiser link —> www.gofundme.com/warmipaintShare No comments
New York is always Â hectic for me year after year, and now the projects in Quito are growing too. SO much so that I am short on time to catch up on my blog posts as you can see. As soon as I get a chance to relax I will get to them:) The easiest way for me to share at this time is via INSTAGRAM @TOOFLY_NYC or on my Facebook Page. In the meantime check out the Quito Transit Bus Project we had this past weekend. A first for Ecuador, happy to have been part of it.
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Earlier this year during my Mexico vacation I got a gig to design some graphics for the Free State Aeropostale line. It was a nice opportunity because I had been inking tons of lettering works, and the t-shirt design gig was a perfect fit. The artist series release would promote my style of work + my street work via video. Our good friend ED from our Sound of Art Days got in touch and made it happen as smoothly as it can go these days with corporate companies. Shout out o Jay Maldonado who teamed up with us to showcase his Toofly video.Share No comments
Before heading back to the mothaland I had an opportunity to work closely with Chilean graffiti woman BOMBA on Toronto, Canada. I had a really nice time in the city while we worked on a community city project Bomba organized alongside Kamplex. The best part of the trip was the yummy food we had every single day, and the street strolls through her neighborhood. One of the loveliest homes and gardens I have seen in a while. Its a beautiful city. Looking fwd to the project flicks!Share No comments