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Where's Winnipeg Waldo? Street artist paints tiny man for you to find

The millennial graffiti artist's miniature tags are hard to spot unless you’re looking for them.

Winnipeg Waldo has been spotted all over the city, from outdoor nooks and crannies to inside VHS tapes at thrift stores. Winnipeg Waldo Instagram account Uploaded by: Scholey, Lucy

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Winnipeg Waldo has been spotted all over the city, from outdoor nooks and crannies to inside VHS tapes at thrift stores. Winnipeg Waldo Instagram account Uploaded by: Scholey, Lucy

As the city’s annual Wall-to-Wall Mural + Culture Festival beautifies large swathes of Winnipeg this month, a new tiny tagger has taken it upon himself to create his own street art scavenger hunt.

The millennial graffiti artist goes by Winnipeg Waldo on Instagram and asked to remain anonymous for this article. He doesn’t want to get in trouble with the law for tagging, even though his miniature Waldo paintings are hard to spot unless you’re looking for them.

Walk around River Avenue and Osborne Street and you may see the British, bespectacled character in a red and white-striped shirt. There’s a zombie Waldo near Shaw Park and a naked Waldo at The Forks—but we’ll stop there. Most of the fun is finding Waldo for yourself, as the artist learned in his youth.

“At my school library…I was always really pissed off when other kids in the school would circle (Waldo) in pen. That was always the worst,” he said.

Describing himself as easily distracted, Winnipeg Waldo said he often pulls over when he’s driving, noticing architectural quirks and artwork. Within the last two years, he’s seen the local street art scene boom and wanted to contribute.

“I have a lot of respect for people (who tag) especially in places that are so difficult to get to,” he said.

“Even if you take a walk down Osborne Street, behind A Little Pizza Heaven and the Cavern, they’ve covered that entire wall. It’s just all these guys from Winnipeg who have been doing this for a while and they almost have their own kind of lane.”

Trips to Toronto and Australia also inspired his affection for public art.

“In all these cities, street art and just art in general is so incorporated into the community and it almost was depressing to go back home to this place that was just grey the entire time,” he said. “If I can add just a little tiny bit (of street art), I feel pretty good about it.”

Though Winnipeg Waldo was intended as a summer project, the artist has enjoyed seeing locals play along on social media and so he plans to keep posting this fall.

He also started a contest offering free Waldo paintings to those who spot him around town. Post a Waldo on Instagram using the hashtags #WinnipegWaldo and #WaldoGiveaway and you may win one of your very own.

Art around town

Metro asked Winnipeg Waldo who some of his favourite local street artists are. They include Deter, Roach, Merk and the artist responsible for the cursive “Read” tag seen around town. Much of their work, including pieces by Roach (pictured), is on display in an Osborne Village back alley, behind the commercial blocks that house A Little Pizza Heaven, the Toad and Second Cup.

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