Maria “TOOFLY” Castillo
Toofly’s journey into the world of art began with her commute to public school from her Corona, Queens neighborhood. Her trips were filled with adventurous sketches as she immersed herself in the myriad of graffiti tags, fill-ins, and outlines viewed on almost every deconstructive surface along the way. It was precisely the rebellious artistic spirit of the 90′s street graffiti movement that drove Toofly to join its subculture ranks.
Highly influenced by the calligraphy and illustration skills of some exceptional writers at the time, a teenage Toofly aspired to become the female version of what she most admired. She began to develop her own knack for “hand styles” and her unique Toofly characters. Her work soon blossomed on various graffiti black books, allowing her skills to be recognized by writers across the five boroughs.
By the time Toofly entered the School of Visual Arts (SVA), she had introduced her character to the walls of New York. At SVA, she applied her artistic skills to illustration and graphic design coursework. Finding inspiration in the New York urban landscape, this artist in the making began to juxtapose her “around the way girl” character against multi layered street imagery for various print and public street art projects.
Toofly’s constant and active role in the hip hop community allowed her to remain true to her roots, as she continued to draw raw feelings from the ever-changing and spontaneous public art world around her. Her most recent projects include her independent artist collection made up of art prints and fashion accessories. In 2007 Toofly co-founded a female urban arts collective entitled Younity which is steadily pushing forward with visual art exhibitions, and art programs for young women in the arts.
Toofly’s art and design work have appeared in various books, video, and magazines such as Graffiti Women, Burning New York, Current TV, MTV Tr3, Trace, YRB, Juxtapoz, and Marie Claire.
TOOFLY NYCâ„˘ – SHOP
TOOFLY NYC is the signature fashion & accessories collection based on the art, design, and life of New York City’s graffiiti artist “Toofly.” It officially launched independently in the Spring of 2007 exclusively online. By the fall of that year TOOFLY NYCâ„˘ gained the interest of boutiques nation wide, and countries like UK, and JAPAN. Her Limited edition art prints, T-shirts, vinyl toys, jewerly, and works of art could now be found in selected boutiques and specialty shops in limited quantities.
Stay Truâ„˘ is Tooflyâ€™s independent art & design company with services in; Art Direction, illustration, Graphic Design, Logo Design, Hand Style Lettering, Photography, Styling, Live Art, and Consulting. Clients include:
FEMALE SNEAKER FIEND
|ESTILO HIP-HOP / CBM
YOUNITY was founded in New York City in 2007 by noted artists Toofly, and Alice Mizrachi. After spending many years involved in the art world, they came to the realization that women artists do not have a properly-organized forum through which to disseminate their ideas to contemporaries and showcase their work to the public at large. The confines of galleries were too rigid and staid; the ‘white cube’ did not lend much room for personal expression and individual style. They wanted to create a place wherein females could tell their own stories in more universal, down-to-earth voices. They also wanted to build a stable community in which they could teach the next generation what goes into the process of setting up art shows and try to successfully spread artistic ideas. The organization’s name derives from its overarching concept of creating a solid group filled with unique, autonomous participants. Each member has her own flavor, and can retain that identity even in the context of a collective body. Thus, the concept behind YOUNITY was born.
LADIES LOVE PROJECT
Ladies Love Project – is a collaboration between artists Toofly, (www.tooflynyc.com) PattyDukes, RephStar (www.circa95.com) and A.Mari (www.onefokus.org) Aiming to create inspiring environments for female artists, where they can celebrate their creative styles in Art, Fashion and Music. Ladies Love Project introduces a model for all women who pay homage to market life around the globe as a staple of community building, and of starting your own independent business. Ladies Love Project thrives on spreading a positive and empowering message to their community especially young women who look up and identify with them.