If you’ve gone around the city of Los Angeles, you’ve probably seen his work. His signature is a spray-painted typewriter accompanied with a series of wheat-pasted words, or WRDS as he calls it. He is WRDSMTH.
When I first thought about writing features on the people of LA, I immediately thought of WRDSMTH. But I was very doubtful that he would talk to me. First of all, I thought he probably didn’t talk to anyone and also, why would he talk to someone whose blog wasn’t even published? But being the ambitious overachiever that I am, I decided to email him a request anyway. I was so incredibly surprised when he got back to me and with a few emails back and forth, we had set up to meet up one evening in Hollywood. You have no idea how so amazed I was that this was even happening. I felt like I was going to interview a celebrity – that no one knew the identity of. I was star struck in the weirdest way possible!
When he walked in, I was very surprised and happy to see his huge smile and expressive eyes. Honestly, I expected someone else – not really sure who, but it was a funny sensation to connect someone’s words with their appearance. It was a surreal feeling, as if the words came to life and they were sitting right in front of me in the form of a real person.
I started with the basics and found out that he was originally from Cleveland and moved to Chicago to work in advertising as a copywriter. He had always thought about moving to LA as a writer, but thought that it was very cliché. He finally made the move and worked as a freelance writer in the “industry”.
The seeds of a lot of his thoughts and WRDS were planted as he was writing a novel in which made up the concept of “Doing Time in Hollywood” – a phrase for all the people who move to LA to chase their dreams – whether it’s to be actor, producer, writer or the other infinite job titles you can possess while living in this city. He had lived here for a while before even coming up with the idea for WRDSMTH, he said, “I needed to experience LA and have an opinion about it.”
He started WRDSMTH on November 29, 2013 and aimed to debut a new piece daily. He has delivered on this promise and at first said he would only do it until he reached 1k followers on Instagram. Now with over 8k followers and growing exponentially, he is still debuting a new piece each morning and says he will probably continue to do so until WRDSMTH’s one year anniversary. He says, “the people anticipate it and I’m talking to people- I never want it to go away.”
When I asked him why he does this, his answer was definite and full of passion – “I write things on walls that I wished people would have said to me when I first moved here.” He talked about moving here and wished that there were more positive, motivating words.
Not only does he create motivating messages, he also adds in some romance and humor. And when I asked him which was his favorite piece, he told me it was this one.
I’ve decided my signature piece is to ask everyone to tell me a secret. This was tough for him, because he really wanted to give me a good one. I asked him to get back to me and also gave him some ideas. When he did get back to me, he gave me two very good ones – that his spirit animal is a gnome, and this: