In 1911 Mayakovsky enrolled in the Moscow Art School. In September 1911 a brief encounter with fellow student David Burlyuk (which nearly ended with a fight) led to a lasting friendship and had historic consequences for the nascent Russian Futurist movement. Mayakovsky became an active member (and soon a spokesman) for the group Hylaea [ ru ] (Гилея), which sought to free the arts from academic traditions: its members would read poetry on street corners, throw tea at their audiences, and make their public appearances an annoyance for the art establishment.Fortuitously, the demand for writing and art suitable for a broad audience increased as education became more accessible and literacy grew in the 19th century. Many young writers capitalized on this opportunity and turned to the increasingly popular newspapers for income. Bohemian writers such as Gautier, de Nerval, and Borel contributed serialized novels, short stories, reviews of plays, and other creative works to newspapers and published their own journals on art, literature, and politics. Likewise, bohemian playwrights such as Henri Murger and his circle of impoverished writers, who were known as the “water drinkers” of Café Momus, produced scripts to entertain the growing population of bourgeois theatergoers (Seigel 1986). These writers filled an existing need with their writings on politics and culture at large while creating a niche for themselves with accounts of their titillating bohemian adventures, readily devoured by both bourgeois and bohemian audiences.
Burlyuk, on having heard Mayakovsky's verses, declared him "a genius poet".
In December 1913 year Mayakovsky along with his fellow Futurist group members embarked on the Russian tour, which took them to 17 cities, including Simferopol, Sevastopol, Kerch, Odessa and Kishinev. It was a riotous affair. The audiences would go wild and often the police stopped the readings. The poets dressed outlandishly, and Mayakovsky, "a regular scandal-maker" in his own words, used to appear on stage in a self-made yellow shirt which became the token of his early stage persona. The tour ended on 13 April 1914 in Kaluga and cost Mayakovsky and Burlyuk their education: both were expelled from the Art school, their public appearances deemed incompatible with the school's academic principles. They learned of it while in Poltava from the local police chief, who chose the occasion as a pretext to ban the Futurists from performing on stage.