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17 Feb

WRDSMTH – Street Artist, Hollywood Writer & Natural Born Creator

WRDSMTH aspires to inspire others on a daily basis with colorful and well-chosen words crafted into indelible thoughts that are temporarily tattooed onto walls around the world.


Creator Profile:


Creator: WRDSMTH (@wrdsmth)

Company:  WRDSMTH

Location: Los Angeles, California

WebsiteWRDSMTHinLA.tumblr.com (Website TBD)

Words of Wisdom – Truth told, the odds are not in your favor. But that’s what will make it such a great story.


[Pull Out iPhone] – Log on, explore tab, scroll. This is my routine with Instagram (@hdfmagazine). I find myself doing this often because it truly is a platform for creators. There are tons of people who have emerged from Instagram because of their innate talent, skill, art, products, and the list goes on.

Like any normal day, I’m scrolling and scrolling through pictures when suddenly, boom, it hits me.

Follow your calling.

Trust your talent.

Chase your dream.

Believe in yourself.

A picture of a cool quote of text laid over a white background and sitting above a vintage typewriter artistically demonstrated on a wall.

WRDSMTH Follow Your calling hdfmagazine.com interview

Photography courtesy of WRDSMTH

Talk about timing. Listen, I take a lot of risks, usually calculated, but seeing something smack you right in the face such as the above quote is always perfectly timed.

This is WRDSMTH.

I clicked and then I clicked some more. I began looking at all of WS’ photos and then started coming across others sharing his work. And by sharing, I mean the world.

On Hustle & Deal Flow™, we strive to feature “creators” of something new. Often I find myself having to keep defining “creators” to others because it’s not necessarily about an idea as much as it is about the person behind it.

People, themselves, are the new companies. They may create a brand from their idea, but because they often live their brand, they essentially create one out of themselves.

WRDSMTH is no different. Instantly drawn to his artwork, I knew I wanted to feature him for hdfmagazine.com. If you haven’t heard of him yet, you will.

Street artist. Hollywood writer. Natural born creator.

While he’s remained fairly anonymous, his work has not. I was fortunate enough to be granted access to ask WS a few questions and gain his perspective on street art, the affects his words/work have on others, taking a leap of faith to quit his job and move to Los Angeles, and of course, the writing. Here’s what he had to say:

Photography courtesy of WRDSMTH

HDF: WS, thank you allowing me to interview you!

WRDSMTH: Well, thanks for emailing and asking.


HDF: WS, you’re words are powerful, uplifting and in a word . . . cool. You’re my first “anonymous” interview so please feel free to tell me as much or as little as you want.

Let’s start with a little bit more about where you’re from (Hometown and Current City)? What do you love about either?

WRDSMTH: I grew up in the Midwest. I was born in Ohio and moved to Chicago after school, where I worked in advertising for a while. A few years back, I quit my job and relocated to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a writer.

I actually thought I’d hate LA/Hollywood, but the city ended up surprising me. I love it here and now consider it home.


HDF: I’m a huge fan of L.A. Always have been. What were you doing before you took on the moniker WRDSMTH? Were you always into Street Art?

WRDSMTH: I am writer. I write every day in various mediums. I write scripts and I am a published author. I have also worked on and off in documentary TV over the years.

Two years ago, I had a real good year creatively, but that meant I was spending a lot of time in front of the computer. I realized I needed an active hobby. I needed something that would get me away from the computer for periods of time, but something that would also not be a distraction from my first love – writing. Street art became that something.

I have always loved street art. Even as a kid, I’d see graffiti on walls and wonder ‘what does that mean?’ and ‘who felt compelled to spray paint that?’ When I lived in Chicago and moved to LA, I was inspired by all of the street art, but was uncertain if I could do it or what I would say. Then one day, I came up with the idea for WRDSMTH – a unique combination of stencil/spray painting and wheatpasting – and just ran with it.

WRDSMTH Quote hdfmagazine.com interview

Photography courtesy of WRDSMTH

HDF: Lucky for us you did. Can you dive a little deeper into how you came up with the concept of creating as WRDSMTH? You can tell me as much of the backstory as you’d like?

WRDSMTH: I guess it started here in LA. A few years ago when I stumbled upon the work of a word-based street artist named Morley. His work made me realize that people might read words tattooed onto walls. It was the first time I thought, ‘maybe I could do something like that.’

When I came up with the name Wordsmith, I immediately knew an image of an old school typewriter would be involved. At first I thought I’d just do stickers – white stickers with a black typewriter and typed words floating above it. It wasn’t until I realized the typewriter could/should be a stenciled and spray painted image and the page could/should be a wheatpaste that I fully embraced the idea and knew I needed to make it a reality.

Then when I investigated if the name Wordsmith was available on social media (namely Instagram), I discovered it wasn’t. That’s when I decided to remove the vowels to become WRDSMTH. When I did that, I loved the concept even more.


HDF: Well, your writing is crazy good and really inspiring!!! I feel like we’re living in a time where so many words, blogs and media just report on the drama and don’t promote enough positivity and art. Real publishing must be promoted.

In reality, I feel more people are actually looking to be inspired. As do your readers/avid fans and the comments they leave you on IG. What have some of them told you about your work?

WRDSMTH: I get messages every day about how my work has touched others and how my WRDs resonate, and that thrills me to no end and provides fuel that energizes me daily. I have heard stories about how my motivational WRDs have affected people and delivered a much-needed pick-me-up for them on a daily, weekly or on-going basis.

I have heard tales about how some of my romantic messages have helped people express themselves to a loved one and helped woo significant others.

Even my funny WRDs have struck a chord with individuals and I have been told they have provided a smile and a laugh when it was needed most. I love all that. I love receiving these messages and I read every one.

And if that feeling ever goes away, I know I did something wrong along the way, because the words people send my way mean a lot and provide affirmation daily.

Photography courtesy of WRDSMTH

HDF: I know street art has been around a long time. Do you feel like it’s constantly evolving and becoming more creative?

WRDSMTH: Absolutely. I love how it has evolved over the years and love how its importance has led to documenting that evolution.

I think it’s fascinating and I love learning about the history of this artistic movement. It reminds me of the skateboarding world and the great documentaries like “Dogtown and the Z-Boys” and “Bones Brigade.

Back in the day, skateboarding was seen as a fad, but its rise through the years and its evolution into a competitive sport was amazing and is inspiring.

And the fact that all this amazing footage exists now allows us to witness that evolution. Street art is similar and I think it’s important to document what happened and what is happening.

I do think right now is a great time for street art and I think it’s a great time for street art in LA.


HDF: I loved “Dogtown”!!! (laughter). Wow, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen it.

So, I saw one of your IG posts from some work you left behind in Paris, correct? How many cities have you visited and “contributed” to? Lol. Is that the best way to say that?

WRDSMTH: I have an incurable case of wanderlust and love to travel. Since I began WRDSMTHing, I have done art in every city I’ve been to and I love that added facet to my travels.

In addition to LA, I’ve painted/pasted my WRDs in NYC, Philadelphia, New Orleans, London, and Paris. I have also conducted “finders keepers” art giveaways in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Denver, Chicago, Cincinnati, and Cleveland.


HDF: Wow!! I’ll be on the look out in each of those cities! I’ll hit you up before I go so you can tell me where to find them. Lol.

Of all the sayings, phrases and quotes you’ve created, do you have 1 or 2 personal favorites?

WRDSMTH: I have many favorites, because the WRDs capture so many moments in my life and things I was thinking/feeling at the time. Some personal favorites include:

“Do something every day to remind this city why the hell you’re here.”


“I love the way you blush when I tell you how you shine.”

Photography courtesy of WRDSMTH

HDF: Both great quotes.

I sometimes wonder how hard it is for Street Artists that have become globally known, to continuously keep their identity a mystery? Is it hard to do so?

WRDSMTH: Not really. I’m just careful and have no desire to advertise my identity via social media.


HDF: By the way, I love the typewriter! How did that come about as part of your art?

WRDSMTH: When I was thinking about what kind of word-based art I might do, the name “Wordsmith” or “Wordsmith in LA” came to mind and that was immediately married to an image of an old school typewriter in my head.

The stencil has evolved and continues to evolve. It’s an artistic representation of a typewriter (too few keys) and incorporates elements from a bunch of different styles of typewriters.


HDF: As always, I have to ask my usual question of, “What’s the best part about “creating” for you?” And I ask, cause I like audiences to know people’s “why?”

WRDSMTH: I really do enjoy all aspects. The coming up with and the writing of the WRDs is obviously something that will always be at the core of WRDSMTH. It all begins there.

The action of hitting the streets and temporarily tattooing walls all over the world is daunting and thrilling at the same time. I like the rush, but I also wish the legality was not an issue. Also planning where WRDs will ride is a fun part of the job.

The reaction is always great. Social media allows my WRDs to immediately be seen all over the world and provides an immediate reaction, which is pretty damn amazing. Again, I’m a writer, so getting read on a daily basis by so many people is pretty much as good as it gets.

Photography courtesy of WRDSMTH

HDF: So, social media has played a big part in the building of your brand to date? How important do you think it will be as you continue to grow it?

WRDSMTH: I think it was and is an essential part of WRDSMTH. The ability to create something and have it seen all over the world at the touch of a button, is an action that was unthinkable a short while ago and is invaluable to anyone aiming to make their mark on the world.


HDF: Have there been any obstacles along the way, either at an earlier age or more recent, that have taught you valuable lessons? Any that you’d like to share?

WRDSMTH: Well, I was in Chicago working in advertising and had friends telling me for a few years, ‘if you wanted to pursue writing as a career, you should move to LA.’ I didn’t listen for a long time and I was afraid to pursue my dreams for too long. That kind of obstacle led to WRDs such as

“If you fear failure, you’re already considering it an option.”

Thankfully, one day I ignored my fears and starting moving in the left direction, which turned out to be the right direction.


HDF: If you could describe the essence or mission behind WRDSMTH, what would it be?

WRDSMTH: I started tattooing walls in LA with things I wish people would have said to me when I first arrived in Hollywood. But I quickly realized that “doing time in Hollywood” was more accurately “doing time anywhere” because everyone everywhere has a dream or aspirations of greatness.

If you require a mission statement, I’ll go with:

WRDSMTH aspires to inspire others on a daily basis with colorful and well-chosen words crafted into indelible thoughts that are temporarily tattooed onto walls around the world...

WRDSMTH Los Angeles hdfmagazine.com interview

Photography courtesy of WRDSMTH

HDF: What’s the best advice you can give someone just starting out? In street art, writing, creating, business, anything?

WRDSMTH: Doubt is just success testing your spirit.


HDF: Oooh that’s good!

If you could meet any artists throughout all of history, current or past, who would it be and why?

WRDSMTH: I’ll go with John Lennon. Would just be cool to head to pub, have a few pints, and talk about the creative process.


HDF: Is there anything else you’d like me, or the readers, to know that I didn’t ask? Is there anything you don’t want me to say? (laughter)

WRDSMTH: I’m pretty certain my spirit animal is a gnome.  I am a hope-filled romantic. I used to break dance. I’m pretty good at WordsWithFriends.


HDF: (Laughter) You’re awesome man, thank you!

WRDSMTH: Thanks. it was fun. And if you’re looking for a final WRD:

“Aspire to inspire others and the universe will take note.”

Photography courtesy of WRDSMTH



Matt Gottesman

Matt Gottesman is a global digital strategist and technology advisor, creator and editor-in-chief of Hustle & Deal Flow™ - an online magazine dedicated to the world's entrepreneurs, creators and makers, a Social Media Influencer and a consultant on New Media and go-to-market strategies for investments in digital marketing, technology, websites, mobile applications, eCommerce, social media and content.

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