Continuing in the Stream: Profile on WA55UP

An eye catching visual stimulation seems to be the best way to describe some of the pieces created by Canadian artist Wa55up. Some artist’s work command your attention and you drift away while others slowly reel you in and keep you. We can guess which one his falls under.

For as long as he could remember, Wa55up has been an artist. “Ever since I was a little kid the only thing that could ever keep me quiet was a pencil in my hand and a piece of paper. Either that or drumming on things, I loved that but the people who were in my immediate vicinity, didn’t love it as much.” His definition of art? “Anything that you have a passion for and work to be the best at can be elevated to an art form is what I believe. So yeah, a pretty loose definition.”

His love for drawing and music were enough for this Canadian to continue his path on being an artist. “Continuing in that stream just seemed like a natural extension of what I was doing.” As he journeys through the art world, he’s still trying to figure out where he best fits. Collabortions and commission are something he enjoys because he likes making people’s visions a reality. “It’s a lot of fun usually”

Meet Joathan McMahon, better known as Wa55up.

Where did you get the name Wa55up? 

Wa55up: Well one day I wanted to make some social media accounts and play games etc. but I found that for some reason my name was taken in a lot of places, so I tried WASSUP, and it was taken. Out of frustration I changed the s's to 5's and it kind of stuck from there. I’ve grown attached to the name since then.

When creating pieces, where do you draw your inspiration from?

Wa55up: Well I draw my inspiration from cartoons and anime a lot of the time. My favorites would have to be Steven Universe, The Amazing World of Gumball, Akira and Psycho Pass. Beyond that, I look at the work of others who work in a similar direction to compare and contrast the differences in approach, and technique. It really helps me to refine techniques and concepts. It’s kind of like using a point of reference in order to self-critique.

What is your favorite project that you have worked on?

Wa55up: So far my favorite project that I've worked on was an ep that I did the album art for, produced, and mixed. I released it sometime last year, but to date it's  the most cohesive project I've put out so far. Working on it was a really cool process so since then I've been working on others. I also have a comic that I work on as a pet project, its enjoyable to work on in my free time.

If there was one thing you could change about being an artist, what would it be?

Wa55up: I would change people's perceptions about it. Too often I'm told that I’ll never make a living off of it or that it isn't a real job. Actually, I have been told that by a publisher , who was looking to commission my work at one point. People just tend to be really condescending towards the craft, until the moment when they need it for themselves.

Is there anything you want to add?

Wa55up: Do what you gotta do so you can do what you love to do.


Keep up with WA55UP 

IG: wa55up

Twitter: _wa55up_