Southeastern PA

Local artist brings Gritty to life through word art

LANSDALE, Pa. - Those googly eyes captured the hearts of Flyers fans instantly and the artistic eyes of Daniel Duffy.

"I, like most people, was not sure what to think when I first saw Gritty," said Duffy.

Duffy is a word artist known for his brand Philly Word Art where he creates images out of tiny words and numbers. In Duffy's most recent piece the one and only Gritty takes shape through his origin story as told by the Philadelphia Flyers.

"When they did some construction at the Wells Fargo Center, some deep bowels of the building got moved around and this creature was able to escape," said Duffy.

It took Duffy about 50 hours to complete the print, just in time for hockey season and Gritty's birthday.

He used colored markers and pens, and Gritty's own signature inspired the font.

"Gritty sometimes signs his name, and I was able to take his handwriting, it is the writing I used to create this piece," said Duffy.

The Lansdale native's artistic career started more than ten years ago when the Phillies won the World Series. Duffy says when Gritty skated onto the scene, he knew he'd be next.

"My goal with Philly Word Art is to create all the Philly sports icons in history and within one year Gritty has become pretty much one of the most popular ones ever," said Duffy.

It was a nitty-gritty process.

"We literally looked at probably thousands of different Gritty images and videos and I just tried to find the perfect pose," said Duffy.

But Duffy says he's pleased with how he captured the mascot's personality and hopes Flyers fans are too.

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