When did the Buff Monster begin appearing? The character first appeared on the streets of LA the first month of 2001. Flattened spray paint cans, with drawings on them. How did you get the idea to paint on crushed cans? One of the biggest ironies of graffiti is that writers use the most permanent inks and paint to create work that is anything but permanent. Posters, and most other things arenâ€™t permanent either. Metal was made to last.