L.A. Street Artist WRDSMTH Revealed

[By Lanee Lee, originally published on Citizine.tv and HuffPost]

As a big fan of WRDSMTH’s street art I see on a regular basis living in Los Angeles, I stealthily stalked him for the day for two reasons: 1. To find out what the man behind the gas mask looks like 2. To discover how a day in the life of WRDSMTH plays out. Here, WRDSMTH reveals his ideal day in LA...

While most writers pen words to paper, this ink slinger pastes words to walls. Known for his encouraging edicts and love notes, like: “Do something everyday to remind this city why the hell you’re here,” and “The only lie I’ve ever told you is I liked you when I already knew I loved you,” LA-based street artist WRDSMTH is a modern day, spray can-wielding Robert Frost.


What began as a mind-clearing ‘craft project’ has turned into an international phenomenon. WRDSMTH’s signature artwork—a poignant message flowing from a vintage typewriter or typewriter-fonted message—can be spotted in London, Paris, New Orleans and more. Luckily, LA is still home to a majority of WRDSMTH’s creations—mostly on electrical boxes in Hollywood and DTLA.

Photo courtesy @WRDSMTH

“The boxes provide a blank canvas with high visibility on many street corners. Traffic in LA is insane, so it’s fun to think that my work might put a smile onto the faces of those stuck in traffic,” says the writer-turned-artist.

His WRDs span beyond the streets as well. WRDSMTH’s meters inspired Julia Price’s song I Miss The F ck Out Of U and made their way onto fashion accessories like passport holders and purses. If you’re in need of some inspiration at home while you brush your teeth or do a sun salutation, limited edition prints are also available at Paper and Fabric.


Like Banksy and other street artists, WRDSMTH remains anonymous, but that doesn’t mean he stays in hiding. So, where exactly does this man of mystery hang out in LA?

Scroll on to find out:

6 a.m.

I am an early riser. I get up at 6 a.m. every day. Years ago I found I am most creative at this hour and do my best writing before most in LA even turn over and hit the snooze button. When I began WRDSMTHing, I started waking up and hour or so earlier and hitting the streets to paint and paste. The city is obviously very quiet at that hour and a lot can be accomplished before the sun rises on the day. At that hour, amidst the quiet and the dark, I often feel like a crime fighter, which is why I, along with a bunch of artist friends, have come to call the action of putting up street art “fighting crime.”


7 a.m.

I love coffee. Coffee-flavored coffee. Black. It’s an inescapable part of my morning routine and my current favorite places to get my fix are: Groundwork, Mojo, and Alfred Coffee. For breakfast, I enjoy Blu Jam Cafe, BLD, and Swingers. I am a big fan of a really good egg sandwich and those places offer some very tasty ones.


10 a.m.
Museums/Street Art

I enjoy getting lost in the art at LACMA and The Broad. The Arts District in DTLA—the streets around ArtShareLA and the alleys around Urth Caffé—is still a great place to spot some inspiring street art and murals, but nothing beats stumbling upon the works of Morley, Teachr, Random Act, Starfightera, Colette Miller, or Hijack as you’re walking or driving around North Hollywood and Hollywood.

12 p.m.

I’m a big fan of lunch and enjoy everything from In-N-Out (Double-Double, no onions) to FoodLab (Smoked Salmon Sandwich) to Sack (Cold Fried Chicken Sandwich) to Joan’s on Third (Meatloaf Sandwich).


1 p.m.
Shop / Farmer’s Market

I love the Melrose Trading Post on Saturdays and Sundays for everything from cool clothes to off-the-wall furniture and knick-knacks. I love to hunt for good books at Book Soup and good records at Amoeba. Farmers Markets are also great and on almost any day of the week there’s one to be explored in LA. Personal favorites include the one on Melrose Place on Sundays and the one in Plummer Park to start the week on Mondays.

3 p.m.
Outdoor Adventures

I love to clear my head with a hike/workout in Runyon Canyon. And sometimes I like to pretend I’m not in LA amid the seclusion of Bronson Canyon.


5 p.m.
Happy Hour

My mantra: “If Happy Hour starts at five and you’re not arriving right at five, you’re denying yourself a little happiness.” A few favorite happy hour locations include Village Idiot, Harlowe, The Pikey and The Well.

7 p.m

I’m obsessed with the perfect Burger—Father’s Office in Santa Monica, Plan Check, and Stout are my fallbacks. I think I could eat sushi every single day: Sushi Fumi, KazuNori in DTLA, and Sushi King in Santa Monica. [Note: I have yet to experience Sugarfish, but it is high on my to-do list.] I also love places that offer an all-around A+ dining experience: Laurel Hardware, Wolf, a.o.c., Salt’s Cure, and The Tasting Kitchen.

9 p.m.

I often like to escape with movies at The ArcLight. I enjoy baseball games at Dodger Stadium in the summer. And concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, Greek Theatre, the Troubadour, or really almost any music venue in LA is always a great way to spend a night.


Images, unless otherwise noted, by Stephen Paul.

To get your own piece of official WRDSMTH art, please see below:

March 23, 2018 by Paper and Fabric Team

The WRDSMTH Guide To Los Angeles

The City's Coolest Street Artist Talks Art, Coffee And Inspiration

[Originally posted by Breanna Wilson on Forbes]

[To see WRDSMTH art for sale, click here]

If you’ve spent any time at all in Los Angeles you’ll recognized WRDSMTH. Well, not the man himself, he’s still somewhat of a mystery, but his artwork? That you almost definitely know.

Because WRDSMTH’s work is as simple and memorable as this: a typewriter stencil with text above it telling you to “dream bigger” or to “aspire to inspire others and the universe will take note.”


WRDSMTH with a 15’ piece in Downtown Los Angeles.

A writer turned street artist, WRDSMTH has the magical ability to take what we’re all feeling, or what we need to hear more often, and turn it into a piece of art.

So what does a guy like WRDSMTH do when he’s not beautifying the streets of Los Angeles?

Well, here’s where you might find him in Los Angeles. And who knows, you could be sitting next to him right now and not even know it.

WRDSMTH’s Favorite Place to: Find Inspiration

“I find inspiration everywhere. Over morning coffee and conversations with friends at places like Cofax and Groundwork. Seeing friends perform at joints like Hotel Cafe and The Mint. While walking Melrose Avenue or hitting the Melrose Trading Post on Sundays. Or while thumbing through books of all kinds at Book Soup, The Last Bookstore, or Meltdown Comics.”

WRDSMTH’s Favorite Place to: Do the Gallery Thing

“I love visiting other artist's studios. And I love The Broad. However some of the best shows I've seen have been held outside of the gallery setting. Those settings feel so creative and can become part of the exhibit. If I venture to a gallery, it's because of who is showing there, so my favorite venues change with the shows.”

The Broad Los AngelesRyan Miller/Capture Imaging

Inside The Broad museum in Los Angeles.

WRDSMTH’s Favorite Place to: Disconnect and Unwind

“I like to walk and often do all around my neighborhood. I live near Runyon, so I strive to venture there daily. If I need to 'get away,' a hike in Bronson Park often feels like I've left the city. And I 'disconnect' every day by rising early. I'm up at 6 am and the city is still sound asleep. I'm a coffee person and relish those serene caffeinated mornings.”

WRDSMTH’s Favorite Place to: Discover New Street Art

“Anywhere and everywhere. My eyes are often scanning buildings and walls and rooftops – in part because I'm always scoping new spots to put my art, which is when/how I discover new art and new artists. If you look, art is omnipresent – whether it's a mural or a stencil or a wheatpaste or a sticker. It is everywhere and I love that. I'm inspired by that. The Arts District in DTLA isn't what it used to be, but there's still great art in so many nooks and crannies. There's also an abundance in Hollywood. Melrose Avenue is good place to look and the Fame Yard or the 7575 Wall on that street is great place to start.”

WRDSMTH’s Favorite Place to: People Watch

“Runyon Canyon is great for that, plus the overheard snippets of conversation whilst hiking are often hilarious. Sometimes I wind up at The Grove for a movie or errands and anywhere inside the Farmer's Market is great for watching the world go by.”

WRDSMTH’s Favorite Place to: See People Taking Photos with His Work

“Right now, that seems to be in Downtown LA where I have a large body of commissioned work. At the corner of Hope and 8th there's the collab wall I did with Colette Miller. It's one of eight pieces I did for The BLOC and the steady stream of people interacting and taking pictures with the wall is staggering. At One Sante Fe, across from Cafe Gratitude, there are three romantic pieces of mine that interact together and lots of people IG photos at that spot. And the 15-foot 'Aspire To Inspire' in front of the Arts District Co-Op is also a very popular destination for street art lovers and picture takers. The other place that come stop mind is Runyon Canyon. I go there almost daily, so when/if I have a renegade piece up on the walls, I am delighted to see people taking photos with it.”

WRDSMTH’s Favorite Place to: Eat Right Now

“Breakfast: Javista on Sunset Blvd or breakfast by Salt's Cure on Santa Monica Boulevard.

Brunch: The Village Idiot.

Lunch: Sack Sandwiches on Melrose or Superba in Venice.

Dinner: somewhere cozy and romantic like Eveleigh on Sunset or Jones on Santa Monica Boulevard.”

WRDSMTH’s Favorite Place to: Imbibe

“I love Happy Hour at the Snakepit or the Electric Owl. I also like bellying up to the bar at 3rd Stop or sitting outside at Fat Dog. If it's a date, I like sipping wine at Vinoteque on Melrose or champagne at Little Next Door on 3rd Street.”

Want to own your own piece of WRDSMTH art? See below for some options:


L.A. Street Artist WRDSMTH Plays Cupid for Couples in Love (LA Weekly)

L.A. Street Artist WRDSMTH Plays Cupid for Couples in Love (LA Weekly)

Whitney Webster and Matt Liknaitzky in their Venice loft with their custom engagement WRD, featuring Capital Cities lyrics.
Whitney Webster and Matt Liknaitzky in their Venice loft with their custom engagement WRD, featuring Capital Cities lyrics.
Pedaling northeast up Washington Boulevard toward Italian gastropub Scopa in Venice, Whitney Webster was falling in love on a first date.

It was late 2016 and Webster, 36, found herself counting the days until her new flame, Matt Liknaitzky, 40, returned from a two-week business trip.

He was back, quick to ask her to dinner. They had never done dinner before –– this was serious.

“For whatever reason,” Webster notes, “it felt just a little bit different.”

Describing a “good, instinctual vibe,” she explains how two months of early-morning hikes and coffee-shop hangouts had ripened her affection for Liknaitzky. They had graduated from friends-of-friends status to first-circle-core.

But distance had triggered a shift in their chemistry. As the couple coasted across Pacific Avenue and out of the friend zone, Webster noticed a white page wheatpaste poster on a utility box — above a red stenciled typewriter it had blotchy, black type that read, “The only lie I ever told you is that I liked you when I already knew I loved you.”

Her internal monologue, spelled out right in front of her.

This would be the first of many pieces, or WRDS, by L.A.-based street artist WRDSMTH that would play a supporting role in her budding romance.

“They really do make you stop and think of someone –– a specific person,” Webster says. “Not to say that other street art is passive, but WRDS force you to stop, read and put someone to mind.” 

This was not WRDSMTH’s first cameo in a relationship, nor will it be his last, says Brody, the man “old enough to buy spray paint and young enough to know what to do with it” behind the respirator mask.

Created with a bucket of Earl’s Lube, a precut stencil and Montana Gold cans, his love letters have become a part of the city’s commentary –– note his eight-piece permanent installation downtown at the Bloc –– and an aphrodisiac to Angelenos, so much so that they’re sharing their stories with him and proposing marriage in front of his WRDs. 

WRDSMTH began in 2013 on a whim as an “active hobby.” These love letters –– aspirational, motivational or romantic –– were economized edicts and affirmational notes Brody himself wished to have heard from strangers in a city still strange to him.

He was a Clevelander who moved to Chicago to avoid the cliché of being a writer who moved to L.A. Eventually the wordsmith landed here anyway, “doing time” in the advertising and freelance industries. Then he became a street artist.

He would post a new WRD almost daily to his Instagram page, pledging to do so until he reached 1,000 followers. Today, he's at 129,000.

Out of the 1,000 or so renegade pieces Brody has pasted around the city, he estimates maybe 100 have survived municipal cover-ups. He has expanded WRDSMTH to 18 cities, from San Diego to Melbourne, Australia. Needless to say, his messages have resonated with Angelenos, and the rest of the world.

“All the pieces you see are very personal [to me]. The secret to this whole thing is that the words need to resonate with me, something in my life, and then I put them out there,” Brody says. “That’s the incredible journey for me; something so personal can also be universal. It just kind of confirms how we’re all in the same boat on this big blue marble –– we’re all thinking and feeling the same things.”

Fast-forward to two months after the dinner date at Scopa. A notification pinged on Webster’s phone while she was on vacation with her mother. Liknaitzky had sent her the familiar image of the decorated utility box on Pacific Avenue, which he had just spotted and wanted to share.

She told him she had seen it before their dinner date, and hoped that he had, too. He told her he hadn’t. He was “too busy noticing her.”

Webster and Liknaitzky have gone on to craft a collection in the hundreds of WRD-centerpiece selfies. Their method is strictly organic –– no online hunting or location giveaways. If they spot a WRD, all things come to a halt. Even Ubers.

Naturally, Liknaitzky turned to Brody last December for some help in framing the big question.

The plan was to plant a custom WRD with a quote from their song, “Patience Gets Us Nowhere Fast” by Capital Cities. “I want it all. I want the best, For us. Say yes...” went up on the side of a dry-cleaning building on Washington Boulevard — the site of their first real date.

This time, Webster was the one who blew past it, until Liknaitzky found his own words to stop her.

“Someone’s going to propose!” she said, insisting they stay to watch, only to turn to see Liknaitzky half-kneeling with a ring.

“[WRDSMTH] has been a part of our love story from the very beginning,” Liknaitzky says, “I’m 40 years old and I’ve finally found the girl I’ve been looking for all of these years. … It took us a long time to find each other.”

Brody, aka WRDSMTH, at his Andaz Hotel mural Love Letters
Brody, aka WRDSMTH, at his Andaz Hotel mural Love Letters
Tyler Hagen

As much as love is part of the human condition, Brody is well aware of its nemesis –– heartbreak.

“I’ve had heartbreak in my life and it just, it defines who we are,” he says. “But in order to have heartbreak, first you have to have your heart filled. You’ve had to have a lot of experience with someone for someone to be able to break you.”

One of his works that read, “I would do anything for you. And that includes letting go if that’s what you need,” encapsulated a love lost midway into his WRDSMTH project. The piece, which he posted in Runyon Canyon, has since been painted over.

“When I look back at this heartbreak, it’s like we were just on the cusp of something great and she pulled away. It was very hard. It hurt, and it always does hurt,” Brody says. “But you can’t convince anyone of anything.”

For every WRD that served a cathartic purpose for Brody, there’s a comment from a passerby that provides an impromptu moment of validation.

“There were a lot of times I was putting out pieces not knowing if people were going to get it, not knowing if it was going to speak to them,” he says, referencing the one that originally caught Webster’s eye. “It’s like a hit song.”

In perhaps his most intimate gesture to date, Brody lifted his anonymity as WRDSMTH for his first solo show, “I’d Like to Have a Word With You,” hosted at Cafe Club Fais Do-Do in L.A. last November. The show’s date came close to the four-year mark for his work as WRDSMTH, and he wanted to come face-to-face with those who had received his messages.

“I understand I’m dancing the line of legality. However, I believe in this far too much and people embrace it far too much for me to not do it,” he recalls. “I was there every moment that the doors were open because I wanted to talk to people. I wanted to meet them. I wanted to hug them. It was exhausting and energizing — a complete outpouring of emotion. I know I’ll do it again.”

His most recent piece stands 18 feet tall at the Andaz West Hollywood hotel on its north-facing wall near the parking lot. The commissioned work is a blacked-out mural of “lv lttrs,” an image that features a 1950s-fashioned couple midstep, her head tilted back while he holds her with one arm to share a kiss among the scattered characters of the word “loveletters.”

Brody drew inspiration for this image from a famous 1950s photograph by Robert Doisneau that captured Parisian couples for Life magazine. The piece hearkens back through nuance: The French photographer’s magnum opus is titled “Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville (The Kiss by the Hôtel de Ville).” 

The terse short-form of the Smartphone age, where people communicate via memes, images and emojis, has worked in Brody’s favor. Users repost his images or tag one another in his comments section, which is frequently followed by affectionate responses and budding romances.

His WRDS have become virtual Hallmark cards.

“I’ve heard from so many people that I’m part of their courtships and relationships from the get-go,” Brody says with a laugh. “The beautiful thing is that I’m getting people laid.”

Not to mention engaged –– like Andrew Moskowitz, 30, and Becca Springer, 28, a love that started with Moskowitz’s repost of a WRD reading, “The fear of taking a chance is trumped by the hope it's the last chance we'll have to take.”

In an endearing email he sent to Brody requesting help for his December proposal, Moskowitz credits those words for his breakthrough moment. “Without your work, I may have not had the courage to meet the love of my life.”

Andrew Moskowitz proposes to Becca Springer on Third Street, near a purposefully pasted WRD, as their parents watch from a limousine parked nearby.
Andrew Moskowitz proposes to Becca Springer on Third Street, near a purposefully pasted WRD, as their parents watch from a limousine parked nearby.
Igor Corzh

Just one block down from the Broad, after almost every item on Moskowitz’s proposal agenda failed — from his parents’ late arrival to ring boxes stuck in jacket pockets and even unforeseen rain threatening to prevent the WRD from fully adhering — he bent the knee in front of a utility box on Third Street that read, “The way you look at me makes me see our future.”

As for Brody’s own slice of happily-ever-after, he remains a hope-filled romantic with two weddings to attend: In June, both Moskowitz and Springer and Webster and Liknaitzky are set to tie the knot.

“The world does suck –– especially recently. But every now and then you stumble across someone magical that makes everything all right,” Brody says, referring to a recent “cozy and delicious,” Champagne brunch at the Little Door with the new woman in his life. “And you can expand on that: It could be a cookie or a song or a piece of artwork. But [for me] it’s usually moments with someone that I think kind of fill that.”

He prefers getting to know a new someone on a neighborhood stroll or under string lights at the Eveleigh. Joyrides or nights in he finds are best soundtracked to Scottish synth-pop trio The Blue Nile or the ’63 self-titled album by John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman.

The only love advice from L.A.’s most devoted pen pal: “This time that we have is so short. You have to fill it with people you like being around. Find those people. Let those people find you.”


If you are interested in WRDSMTH limited edition prints and merchandise, please click here.

March 22, 2018 by Paper and Fabric Team
Wyatt Mills x Snapchat

Wyatt Mills x Snapchat

Wyatt Mills, the talented studio and street artist, was commissioned to paint a large-scale mural on the Snapchat building in Venice, California. This is a behind-the-scenes look at the artist and his new street art piece, as documented by filmmakers Fred Lidskog and Matt Krautstrunk. 

While most artists are known for a specific, "trademark" style, Wyatt Mills is known for his versatility, consciously switching up patterns to test and elevate his expertise. Check out the video to learn more about the artist and this impressive mural project. 

November 14, 2016 by Alex Fischoff