How To Not Be A Graffiti Toy

Toy is a word that gets thrown around a lot in the graffiti world. Here’s how to speed up the painful process of being a graffiti beginner.

elmo is a graffiti toy

Do more

Paint more, sketch more, try harder. The more time you spend actually doing graffiti the faster you’ll improve.


Keep it simple

Don’t walk before you can run. As tempting as it might be, avoid drawing over-complex wildstyle pieces with loads of connections. Get the basics locked down and your simple letters and handstyles looking really nice. Knowing your history will help this a lot.


Ignore other people’s opinions

Your going to get some negative critics, take it on board if it’s constructive advice from a friend, if it’s just an insult, ignore it. People who are worried about what others think never accomplish anything because they are too scared to break the mold.


Don’t look the part

Graffiti isn’t about wearing a five-panel hat, North Face jacket, vintage Polo Sport and New Balance 420s.


Keep your circle tight

Have some mystery about yourself, don’t go telling every writer in your city and all over the internet what you write. Keep it between you and your friends, those memories you gain are what you’ll appreciate in years to come.



Be adventurous, explore your city, no one ever found glory by painting the same spot every weekend. Push yourself to your limits right from day one.


Don’t paint over other people

Find your own spots, lie low, don’t go causing problems for yourself early on.


A bad workman blames his tools

It’s not because you’ve got the wrong German Mark II Skinny Cap. A good writer can paint something burning with two colors of cheap hardware store paint and stock caps.


Don’t be a graffiti geek

We all love painting and when you start out extra enthusiasm is natural, but don’t be the guy who rocks a t-shirt with his favorite writer’s throw-up on it and does online sketch battles/sticker swaps.


Avoid stickers like the plague

Stick with spray paint for the first few years, use a Pilot marker now and then. With no credibility already earned, stickers will make you look like you lack courage and ambition.


Don’t call people a toy

The longer you write the more you learn that the only people who use the word toy are other toys. Even if you’re just starting out and someone calls you a toy whose graffiti looks the business to you, chances are it looks the business because you don’t fully understand why it’s so bad.

Toy is a word used by the insecure and jealous. Graffiti writers who are content in their own accomplishments and have been writing for a long time have no interest in insulting graffiti writers below their standard or having an opinion on their graffiti- it’s the equivalent of laughing at an ant because it can’t read.


Leave the house

Put the internet down, the more time you spend thinking about graffiti and looking at what others are doing, the less time you are having your own mega LOLs.


Being a graffiti toy is fun

Whether you’ve got 2 months or 20 years experience, graffiti is the most fun you can have with a can of paint, so don’t worry and enjoy being toy.


Don’t write blog posts telling people how not to be a graffiti toy.


Learn the basics of how to draw graffiti letters here



Do you know someone who might be a graffiti toy who could do with some kind words of advice? Tell them to stop painting bad paint pen canvases in their bedroom and share this post with them.