Ayhan Yavuz was born in 1965 in Izmir, Turkey. After attaining his BA in Labor Relations, he completed his required military service as a second lieutenant in the Turkish infantry in Gallipoli. He then moved to England to improve his English and lived there for several years before making his final move to the United States. He currently lives in the greater Seattle area of Washington with his partner Max, where he also continues to have a wonderful relationship with his three beautiful daughters.
Yavuz’s path to creating a career in art was not a direct one. He briefly studied fashion design at the Art Institute of Seattle while he worked in the banking industry, but was ultimately unhappy there. After he left his fashion schooling, the artist in him was put on the back burner as he pursued his profession in finances to support his family. Even though he wasn’t actively creating anymore, Yavuz knew that the artist within him was there and needed to be freed. It took hard work and quite some time for Yavuz to get back to his passion for art. Through this journey of returning to calling, he learned that turning your back on your true self will cause you nothing but pain, regardless of how successful you are at fooling everybody else.
After spending so many years excelling in a career that had nothing to do with creativity, Yavuz knew that he had to start creating again. This became even clearer for him when his life’s journey led him to become a Buddhist monk for a short period of time. He practices Buddhism not as a religion, but rather, a way of life. Mindfulness meditation is one of the most helpful tools he has learned, as he found that through creating he was able to experience a powerful deep meditation that connected him back to his imagination and love of art. While he started painting he also fulfilled a childhood dream of his and worked on writing books. He has published two books, titled “In the Cradle of Umbra” and “Azra’s Labyrinth”.
As he began his journey of rediscovering himself as an artist, Yavuz started exposing his art to the world. His artwork has been published in Rêve de Femmes (a French publication) for several years in a row. He has participated in multiple juried art shows along the West Coast and has exhibited his work in Washington, Montana, California, and New York.