The Grackle

Observations, Reflections and Miscellany from the Wacoan

Meet the Artist Behind the Mural

Introducing Kalyn Dunks

9 years ago

By Hannah Kleinick

As I drove up to Shades of Shabby to interview artist Kalyn Dunks, I glanced in my rearview mirror and saw a tall brunette leap out of her car. It was Dunks, and when we greeted each other, her carefree persona was contagious. Dunks, a Baylor alumna, recently painted a new mural in Waco that is gaining recognition within the community.

Dunks grew up in Salado. As a child, instead of playing kickball or tag with friends, Dunks had other hobbies.

“I really loved spending quality time with my mom, crafting away and dreaming up fun and creative ideas,” Dunks said.

Her love for creativity runs in the family. Dunks’ mom started her own T-shirt business, and her brother is a graphic designer. Dunks says her family played a role in shaping her as an artist.

“My dad was a minister, and my mother was a creative entrepreneur,” she said. “My brother and I have followed closely in their footsteps, building a life on faith and creative thinking.”

Dunks was recently commissioned by Shades of Shabby, a vintage home décor and furniture store located on La Salle Avenue, to paint one of Waco’s newest murals.

“They contacted me wanting a mural that expressed the love that people have for the city of Waco,” Dunks explained. “Being a Wacoan myself, I jumped at the opportunity.”

According to the artist, the mural is inspired by a typewriter. The message on the paper in the typewriter will change periodically to showcase different events happening in Waco.

In addition to painting the mural, Dunks recently started her own company: K.Dunks Creative. This was initially going to be a freelance graphic design business, but Dunks realized graphic design was no longer her only artistic passion.

“I wanted to do more than sit at a computer,” Dunks said.

She began making hand-lettered chalkboards for her friends’ weddings, and that inspired her to form K.Dunks Creative. See Dunks’ hand-lettered chalkboards, as well as her graphic design work and photography, by visiting You can also follow @kdunkscreative on Instagram.