Talented local artist Connie Wolgast revisited several t-shirt design ideas while at home during the pandemic.
Wolgast, who previously worked as a baker, made a design for the Proud Duck t-shirts, which celebrates Pride Month.
Her initial inspiration was taken from a very upright duck she saw in 2011 in Grants Pass, Ore.
“It made me smile and I wanted to pass that feeling on to others,” Wolgast said of his design. “Every time I think about that moment, I smile. This Odd Duck has become my mascot, and sharing that smile has become my goal.
Its Proud Duck design features a circular pattern of ducks in all the colors of the rainbow flag, representing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer pride and LGBTQ social movements.
The original 1978 flag design has been altered over the years, most recently with the addition of black, brown, light blue, pink and white stripes to represent marginalized people.
Arlene Clark, a friend and neighbor, says Wolgast is creative, imaginative, and easy to work with. Another of his creations was a drawing for the Anna Maria Island Historical Society, featuring the former prison of Anna Maria.
“Her duck design is whimsical and so cute,” Clark said.
Wolgast begins the creation process by drawing her designs by hand, then uploading them to a computer, where she can color and edit them.
“There may be messages in the drawings and there may not be. The designs are created with humor and the intention is to make you smile and be happy. I look forward to your smiles and may the odds be with you, ”she said.
During Pride Month, many large companies dress their logos with rainbows. Sometimes small businesses and independent designers who promote pride get overlooked.
The point is, community small business owners and independent creators have helped build the pride movement. Today, these independents can be identified by rainbow stickers on their storefronts and an outspoken presence in online marketplaces, Wolgast said in a press release announcing its Proud Duck design.
“Proud Ducks” t-shirts are available on the Odd Duck Designs store at Etsy.com.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Gay (LGBTQ) Pride Month is celebrated each June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, according to the Library of Congresss.
“I think it’s good. It gives people a reason to celebrate and be proud of who they are,” Wolgast said of Pride Month.