Performer, artist gets contract for Western Fair flyer
By Krista Allen
Special to the Times
She’s a woman of many talents, some of which are shown on her well-curated website and on Facebook, where she’s cut through the social media noise. She’s done collaborations with companies across the country and is working on endless projects on the go.
Her name is Kari Denny-Flynn, better known by her stage name “Writtyn,” from Tódinéeshzhee’. She is an artist who is an expert in Adobe Creative Suite products such as Dreamweaver, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Premiere Pro.
Denny-Flynn is an entrepreneur, graphic designer, website builder, mother of two girls – an 18-year-old and a 10-year-old – a poet, rapper, motivational speaker and much more. She’s also the creator of the Western Navajo Fair’s official promotional flyers. And one may have seen her work on billboards in Albuquerque and in Texas, and even on the back of the Pepsi trucks. In short, she does it all and she does it well.
How does she do it? Her creative journey started from humble beginnings, she said. “I actually started messing with (Microsoft Paint – a software graphics program that allows users to draw or paint bitmapped images on a computer),” Denny-Flynn said. “I’ve always been into art and I’ve always been into graffiti.” Denny-Flynn, along with her brother, in 2011 took online courses offered by Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. She decided she wanted to develop her art and design skills, so she chose the graphic design program. She was six months into the program when her health suddenly needed attention.
“I went through some surgeries, so I didn’t finish the program,” she said. “Then I went back to school, but I was told (I had to start the program from the beginning again). So I started learning on my own from there.” Denny-Flynn said she works with Rhonda Duvall, better known by her stage name “Honey,” her best friend from Kearns, Utah. And when Duvall needed flyers and graphic design work done for T-shirts and other items, Denny-Flynn stepped in to help.
“And then I started doing (mine) and Honey’s flyers and then from there, people started seeing our flyers and asked if I could do their flyers,” Denny-Flynn said. “That’s just how it evolved.” Today, she works with community governments, large companies, musicians, small-business owners, and everyday people who hire her to do their graphic design work. “The Western Navajo Fair last year, somebody tagged me (on Facebook) when (the WNF Office made a call for graphic designers),” Denny-Flynn said. “I was like, ‘Egh, I won’t get it,’ so I ignored it. “But I kept getting tagged and then I told myself, ‘OK, I’ll send (the office) my information.’ I didn’t get a callback because it was a late notice. I don’t know what happened, but I was selected. I was the second choice.”
Denny-Flynn this year reapplied for the graphic design job to create promotional flyers for the Western Navajo Fair. And sure enough, she got the job. “I got chosen again this year and I’m really excited,” said Denny-Flynn, who recently received an enormous compliment from the WNF staff both for her excellent design skills and positive attitude.
“That made me happy,” she said about the compliments. “Honey T-shirts––wherever we (family) travel, we’ll see people wearing my design. It’s very rewarding seeing my design.” Denny-Flynn said a few years ago she created the website for the Utah Navajo Fair. She’s also done album cover work for R&B singer-songwriter Amanda Perez from Fort Wayne, Indiana; and created a flyer for rapper Bow Wow and other big celebrities through Take Over Promotions.
“When a company hits me up, I just look through their website and Facebook page and I study their posts and (literature) and then I go from there,” Denny-Flynn said about finding an angle and the inspiration to create a project. “Then I do a sample proof (before it’s finalized).” Denny-Flynn said her typical workday starts at 8 a.m. and ends before 5 p.m. or from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m., depending on how many clients she is working with for the day.
“Then I start doing homework … with the kids at 4:30 p.m., after which I start dinner. My husband, David (Flynn), comes home around 6 or 7 p.m. and then I’ll jump on the computer for about an hour if I have anything that I need to get done,” Denny-Flynn explained. “Then my (10-year-old) gets ready for a bath and school for the next day and then I go to bed and start all over the next day.”
And on weekends, Denny-Flynn said, she performs on stage as Writtyn – and many times with Honey, whom she started touring with in 2011. Next year will be their 10-year anniversary of performing together, she said. “I just like to live life to the fullest, which is what I always say,” said Denny-Flynn, who started writing poetry when she was 14 years old. “And I’m very, very appreciative and very blessed with my family and I have a good support system with my husband.”
Denny-Flynn’s poetry is about her hardships and living in an environment of alcohol, drug, and physical abuse when she was younger. “I wrote a song called, ‘I Hurt Inside’ and that was about being with an alcoholic and going through domestic violence,” she added. “People would just come up to me, thanking me and saying, ‘You saved my life.’ “And that means a lot to me because when I first started, I did it for me to bring myself up, to bring myself out of depression. When I realized people were listening to my voice and hearing me and it has helped them, I just kept doing it.”
And that’s what keeps her going – the people, the Diné, and helping them get through their trials and tribulations of life.
Infornmation: writtynmusic.com, or “Written” on YouTube and Facebook