Jessica Ellis
November 09, 2015 8:17 am

If you grew up in the ’80s, chances are seeing anyone in a red-and-white striped shirt makes you instinctively shout, “I found him!” Where’s Waldo is a cultural touchstone for our age group, joining us all together in the search for the unknown. Lucky for us, one artist is taking our collective unconscious feelings about the mystical beanie-wearing, cane-carrying traveler and feeding them a warm bowl of Instagram soup.

Speaking to Mashable, artist Wally explained that he began his Instagram feed @WallyFound to improve his photography skills and connect with new friends through a familiar character.

“Many of my good friends today, I met on Instagram. I’m also always open to make connections and collaborations. Which means anybody out there who wants the same, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line.” His savvy technique seems to have worked wonders, the feed has garnered more than 12,000 followers.

While many of the photographs pose him as a solitary figure against a landscape, a few of his newest posts place him in complex, detailed settings more reminiscent of the classic books. Looking at the images, it’s easy to slip back into the way in which we devoured Where’s Waldo originally, hunting not only for the familiar world traveler, but also for the minute, incidental details that created whole narratives independent of his story.

Wally, with an open friendliness that would do his inspiration proud, is using his newfound following to give back to the community. Through a GoFundMe campaign, the artist is raising funds to create a Wally Charity Calendar, the proceeds of which will go to fund children’s cancer research projects. Of course this gives us a whole new reason to find Waldo: We need to give him a big hug for being such a good guy.

Related reading: 

“Where’s Waldog?” is totally the new “Where’s Waldo?”

[Images via Instagram]

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