Art | Design | Fashion

Archive for 2009

2010 = 3

December 29th, 2009 | Category: Art & Design,Day in the Life


Messing around with the numbers in 2010: .2+0+1+0 = 3

I guess I can look up what the number three means, but I know from drawing what is known as the first geometrical figure that it’s a magical symbol. It subliminally appears in almost all works of art, and if your a painter or an illustrator you experience it’s effects when you zone out. It’s like a door. A feeling of complete peace with the world. The past, present, and future come together and everything you ever worried about goes away. It’s a pretty cool experience:) the name of this piece is called: TIME

I was thinking instead of recapping 2009 and all the dope shit I did I would look back at what this last decade really meant to me. It’s literally been 10 years since I graduated college, and I’m 4g’s away from paying of my school loans! That took hella long geez. My goal was to pay it off this year but you never know when you gotta dip in to help the fam out. I’m close to living debt free, and that’s 1 ticket out of the system I’m close to checking off. Time flies. A decade of hustle from educator, to designer, to art director, to making tons of loot but realizing money was not worth the zombie life. I had no time to be creative, and live out my dreams. A blessing in disguise could not have come any sooner, and I leaped into the freelance life. Shortly after I started 2 businesses and never looked back. How did it all happen? Trial and error, and most importantly never giving up on what you really want to do and follow what truly gives you joy. It’s not always gravy but you get pretty close when you stick to it. We create the world we want to live in. The more you can wake up each day and give thanks for what you do have, and treat the world around you with love and respect the happier you are. That’s a fact. With that I end a decade where the past, the present, and the future are at full circle, and I’m geared up for the next episode. The road ahead is still bumpy but no matter what road blocks await I’ll find a way to get through because I got somewhere I need to be, and it ain’t here…

Happy New Year everybody!!! Brave the unknown territory and create new paths of light in the jungle of uncountable possibilities. We are being asked to become the “New Pioneers” dream up a new world into manifestation. Where LOVE, NATURE, and UNITY heal the world…

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December 29th, 2009 | Category: Art & Design


I’ve been doing business as TOOFLY for a while now.  In 2007 I went official and launched  Stay Tru™ so that I can extend what I do as a creative director, artist, and designer to new heights. I started my very own company with $500 bucks! Which was mostly paperwork. I can now independently provide art & design services for folks in my community but also to some notable clients like Rayban, Kidrobot, BET, and Upper Playground just to name a few. I finally had some time today to set up a section which includes various services for those seeking the “Toofly steelo” Art Direction, illustration, Graphic Design, Logo Design, Hand Style Lettering, Product Design, Photography, Styling, Live Art, and Consulting. Eventually I’ll hook up a little separate site for Stay Tru™ so that it continues to grow;)

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December 21st, 2009 | Category: Art & Design,Day in the Life,Fashion,IN THE ZONE...

working on some illustrations for a M.I.S.S CREW exhibition called PAPER DOLLS at Upper Playground in 2010. Still not sure if I’m gonna submit this piece tho. There’s so much you can do with paper dolls! hmmm….yea dunno…then again I only have a week left, and leaving town for the Holidays. This may just be it:( Maybe I can find a dope decorative frame in a thrift shop or something,…Anyway stay tuned. More details after the jump!

Toofly Paper Dolls_web

Toofly Paper Dolls in progress…

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December 13th, 2009 | Category: Day in the Life,Video


December 12th, 2009 | Category: Art & Design,Graffiti / Street Art

Custom Graff Train-1

Got an opportunity last week to custom paint a small scale version of a NYC F train for our friend ken_vs_ryu. Shout out to Sol who made it happen. I sooooooooOOo  WANT ONE TOO! Where do I get one?

Custom Graff Train-2

rock’n my magic…

Custom Graff Train-3

Vuala! finito, and ready for the tracks…

Toofly Train-2

Toofly Train

Shout out to ken_vs_ryu for the pics, and YOUTUBE video. It was a pleasure painting it! Thank Youuuuuuu….


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December 10th, 2009 | Category: Art & Design,Green Living,TOOFLY SHOP NYC

They’re here!!! My very own pocket sketchbooks;) I love stationary, lately I’ve been geekn’ it out on paper goods. The feel of printer matter especially when it’s small is hard to resist. This year I decided to get to the heart of my work, and make something that means a lot, but does not cost a lot. With so much of the day distracted from our  thoughts and feelings it’s important to get back to basics and pour it all out on a blank page. Sketch, write, or catch a tag for someone you love. It’s a lot more special when you “personalize” it + it’s 100% eco-friendly baby! just in time for the holidays. ENJOY!!!


Toofly pocket size sketchbooks. 32 pages of high quality, eco-friendly 100% recycled paper with one of her favorite girl mark illustrations. Printed with black soy ink on chipboard, this 3.5″ W X 5″ H sketchbook has saddle-stitch binding, and rounded corners. Easy to slip in and out of your pocket when you feel the urge to sketch, write, or catch a tag! Limited Edition of 50. Signed and numbered by Toofly

Toofly Pocket Sketchbook_web

$12.00 available exclusively at:

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December 04th, 2009 | Category: Art & Design,Day in the Life,IN THE ZONE...

Painting and drawing during these long winter nights is mad therapeutic…

Left in Silence_Process_web

“Left in Silence”

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November 23rd, 2009 | Category: Events,Exhibitions

Not really down to go to Miami this year, I think one year was enough for the madness. Got some work in the Multiversal exhibit organized by Mike Franco and his crew. Shout out to our homegirl Diana McClure for hooking it up;) SEND ME PICS!

Art Basel Miami


Art Basel Miami Beach is the most important art show in the United States – a cultural and social highlight for the Americas. As the sister event of Switzerland’s Art Basel, it is the most prestigious art show worldwide for the past 40 years.  In that spirit, for the duration of Art Basel, WST Worldwide & Kazilla Productions will be hosting the Multiversal group show – a unique series of exhibitions showcasing the works of many talented artists from around the world.

December 3rd – December 6th
The American Legion building
6445 NE 7th Ave
Miami Modern District

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November 22nd, 2009 | Category: Art & Design,Fashion,Green Living,TOOFLY SHOP NYC

My new FREESTYLE Eco-Block rings are ready! Sorry it took me so long to get these up on the shop. Figured I better post them soon so ya’ll have something new and colorful to give that special sistah for the holidays. I was going to wait until spring 2010 to release them but I get too excited when they’re laying around my studio. Shout out to my sister Joanne for helping me paint them while listening to our favorite tunes. Handcrafted in Ecuador baby! Keeping it in the fam…


Toofly’s Freestyle Eco-Block ring designs are inspired by her favorite tunes, and graphic ethnic shapes found in her native land. Handcrafted in Ecuador, and hand painted with her younger sister Joanne Marie. These colorful rings are that funky dash of color your looking to rock on them five’s. The line is an addition to her TRINITY collection made up of 2 finger wood rings in collaboration with GOOD WOOD NYC. Staying true, and original to a community of artists and designers who make handmade goods, and eco-friendly works of art!


Joanne Marie after a long day at TOOFLY’s studio painting rings…


Left to Right; Freestyle, Electronica, Classic…GET YOURS >>> available only at the TOOFLY SHOP

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November 19th, 2009 | Category: Day in the Life,Video

I can’t believe it’s been three years;(

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November 18th, 2009 | Category: Day in the Life

10 great days in LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA…

Linda Vista


Home sweet home for the week. Shout out to my hommie Izzy for hosting me in her humble sunny and cozy oasis;) Waking up at sunrise never felt so gooooooood….


Izzy Izmz. A sweet soul! I feel like we really bonded on this trip. Everyday was a chance to understand life just a little better. Great therapy when you got hommies who listen to life’s up and downs, and help put things in perspective. Our daily lesson; to let things go. Don’t let anything or anyone hold you down. Everyday is a new day to just get better at it. Worry not my sweet. Your specialfresh chika steez are about to take hold of that next chapter, ROCK IT OUT!!!


LA Streets
Photo by ©Jay Dism
On my own, while is Izzy is off to get her cheddar. Did I mention how much I love my I-Phone? Yeo! I never got lost. As long as I knew where the nearest art supply store, Home Depot, metro and bus were I was straight. Blocks were long though…LA is long + where was everyone? All in theis cars. Sense of community? None. All in all the reality of seeing my south american people hustling for work put things in perspective. Where there’s a will there’s  a way…


I got around! True NYC trooper style…


Stacked up on rice ball chips, peligrino’s, and a few other things to find the peace in the waves as they crashed in on the shore. It was a cloudy day, but surfer dude watching was fun. Climbing the top of the rock too. I love getting the right shot! Nature is beautiful…
Carillo Beach Izzy

Carillo Beach


Where’s the LA sunshine today?


It is when you let go of the grip that the organic grooves begin to flow…


I need the shot!


ahhhhh yes….never know what’s on the other side until you explore…
Malibu Road

Back on Malibu…27 miles of scenic beauty…


stopped to see the sun finally peek out!

Dope cribs by the beach by rich ass people LOL!


smooth as pie. Knocked it out in 4 hours!

Izzy Helping

Happy Izzy came through to help me;)


I can’t wait to do my solo in NYC…


Needed to get one more piece done. Found the right piece of cardboard and zoned out. Unfortunately after I did it I felt really sick. I think I let go off a bunch of energy I internalized that week. Did nothing else but sleep the rest of the day.

Letting Go


A day before show, I made some last minute missions to get supplies. I can’t believe I never found a Kinkos! and all public libraries suck to get shit printed. It’s official libraries need to step their game up and get with modern times.  Once the last piece was installed, and gallery was set for opening I was off for some yummy noodles!



YUM! One of my my favorite Vietnamese vegetarian tofu noodle dishes in Silverlake.


I gave this post it’s own spot on my blog. IN CASE YOU MISSED IT here’s the link to all the photos from opening: >>> LINK





Now that 1/2 of my Younity ladies were in town we went to kick-it at Venice Beach.

it reminds me of Coney Island! sketchy…


The view at the “NEW” skate park was beautiful. Wish we had something like this in NY ( Photo by PlanetC1 – flickr )

Venice Beach sunset

Def the place to be if your a skater…


Love sunsets! especially when they turn all golden fire orange, red, pink…SOoooo DOPE!



Made it back just in time for Downtown Artwalk…whew!


TOP OF THE DOME exhibit at CREWEST Gallery was pretty fresh…


Dia de los Muertos type of inspirations…Plenty more pics here


The LA Downtown Artwalk rounds were aight, it just ain’t NY what can I say…

Crewest Gallery

Happy my peeps are here tho! Manone, AM Pen, Ron J, Toofly, and Shana…


Hollywood Blvd

Hollywood blvd…


Destination Friday: HOLLYWOOD SIGN! on to our tourist strollz…


Sneaked in through somebody’s property to get a better view. F* that tourist route LOL…Izzy was determined!


We made it!


I thought I can go up and touch one of the letters or something but this was pretty DOPE:) I’m a geek…


WHAT GOES UP. MUST COME DOWN. OMG!!! funniest moment EVER. You had to be there. This one is for the kids one day LOL! Shana you will have me laughing about this day for many years to come hhahha!


A little wine to unwind up on the rooftop before we head back downtown…

LA roofs

The 101 things I can do with a space up high like this…DOPE!




Solo exhibit by UPENDO. ( More Photos of event by MEL COLE D of  VILLAGE SLUM © 2009 )

Picture 1

Boyz will be boyz! Manone, Pen, RonJ…



We were soooooooo HAPPY to find out Bobbito and DJ Spinna were in town!!!


OUR NYC DJ’s saved the night!!! + PHIL who had our back on the $20 beans thank you!!! Can’t believe ATM fees were $5 to get cash out hell no! Everyone else can stuff it…


Shit closes early in LA so for it to go to 4am was a TREAT!


I needed this sooooo bad! Glad we fund where the living are. Shout out to LADON. It was great to running into you gurl!!!

DAY 10. JUXTAPOZ 15th Anniversary

ARTWORK Photos here

Juxtapoz Lot

La ultima noche. Juxtapoz 15th Anniversary event. Low riders, the fight, bright lights, artwork, and the LA who’s who…



This space was AMAZING!!! More pics at JAYBUENO.COM

Picture 4

I was digg’n these…



The Mac. I’m a fan…


Thanks LA for helping me RELAX! It’s a tough thing to do when your from NY, the city of hustle and grind. As much as it was nice to chilllllllllllax, 10 days was enough for this true school trooper! HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY to be back home! Till next time…

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November 16th, 2009 | Category: Pressed


Shout out to URBANMOSADI for the DOPE and SWEET write up and flicks on M.I.S.S CREW! Huge supporter since day 1. Gracias mamaistas; Gabriella, Liz Baca + Crew for giving DOPE ladies of our generation the chance to shine from the inside out!

Maria ‘Toofly’ Castillo, Brave Souls Illuminate Showcase @ Fifty24LA Gallery
by urbanmosadi

Last week, Toofly opened her first solo show, Brave Souls Illuminate FIFTY24LA Gallery.   When I arrived,  I was greeted by Melinda and Krista, and they shot me straight to her work. I took tons of photographs and with each snap and click, I came to appreciate her ‘around the way girl’ characters she is infamous for, more and more. Not being familiar with her work, I took to it almost instantly. The boldness and certainty of her paint, as well as pencil strokes, are evidence of the woman’s skill. I looked at each piece closely, scanning each image, her technique and found nothing but precision, particularly in her pencil works.

Before I knew it, the Fifty24LA Gallery was beaming with ordinary art lovers and fans alike. Satisfied with the photos taken, I was ready to meet this formidable female. Nervous and not really knowing what to expect from a heavyweight street artist such as herself, my nerves were laid to rest the instant we met. Toofly was humble, down-to-earth and a true reflection of her ‘around the way’ characters she paints. So much so that, before I could even ask to take photographs of her, she quickly offered to let me shoot her in front of her amazing art.

What I found particularly refreshing, was seeing that Toofly had placed an A4 notebook for all the visitors to ‘tag’ and leave her a message of some sort. This worked out to be a fantastic idea, because many people spent quiet a bit of time flexing their tagging skills in the hopes of impressing Maria herself.

Meeting Maria ‘TooFly’ Castillo was inspiring to say the very least. The woman is a professional and represents women extremely well with grace, humility and extra freshness, it’s no wonder she is seen as a Woman Making History, by M.I.S.S.

Photography by  Melinda Sanchez & Urbanmosadi

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November 15th, 2009 | Category: Art & Design,Day in the Life,Events,Exhibitions

Back in NY and super happy to be home! Here’s pics from opening night…

Toofly_upper playground
Photos by my peeps: Jack from DAILY DUJOUR, and URBANMOSADI thanks guys!

Brave Souls Illuminate by TOOFLY, solo exhibition.
November 11 through January 4, 2009
( part of: DOWNTOWN ART WALK November 12th and December 10th, 2009 )
125 East 6 St. Los Angeles, Ca 90014


LOVE folks with genuine love and appreciation for my work…


Rescue Me

gallery 2

Embedded Within



tattoo guy

Locals schooling me on LA prison culture, gang culture, and teen angels magazine…

Letting Go

New Piece…



Love notes folks leave me…thanks Urbanmosadi!!!:)


Oldies but goodies…

ricky peeps

RICKY! Fashion Industries hommies since 92!

Begin Again

Begin Again…


Was happy to see Michelle and Joseph Collins with their little ones. Going back to UNIVERSITY SETTLEMENT days in the LES when I was a teen;)
Photo by AM.

izzy friends

Izzy aka special fresh chika and friends. Thanks for coming thru ladies!


Shana LOVES PR!:)

china girls

China Marbosa LA Younity artist showing some luv!

UP ladies

Melinda, and Krista holding it down…where’s that tazer gun!



NYC Peeps

NYC CREW ready for LA DAYZ…


Mission accomplished! Shout out to Gabriella from MISS CREW for making this exhibit happen;) THANK YOU!!!

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November 02nd, 2009 | Category: Art & Design,Fashion,TOOFLY SHOP NYC

The Methods NYC, World Traveler line is up…

Toofly 4 Methods

My Favorite!




Here’s the link to view the rest of the LOOKBOOK

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November 01st, 2009 | Category: Day in the Life

Decided to hit the Halloween parade this year with “SHUT DOWN SHANA!”. We hopped over the barricade fence on 13th and joined the rest of the freaks walking up 6th ave. It was a lot more fun to rebel out and go opposite the parade because that’s where you got the front view of the crazies coming up. Especially when the thriller live dance piece was performed, that shit was dope!!! Soaked and drenched from the rain we made it to the end where it all began. Had a blast! Next year we got our scheme locked down…


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