Born in 1963, Cecil K. was raised a Turk in Uzbekistan, and grew up speaking both Turkish and Uzbek. The first time he really felt the spark of artistic inspiration was as a sixth grader, sketching a horse. He was hooked – from then on, pencil sketching became one his favorite hobbies, and he went on to attend the local art university, receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1982.
However, Cecil’s talent and passion for art lay dormant for more than a decade. As was customary, Cecil served in the Uzbek army for two years as soon as he graduated, then returned home to a job at a textile factory, and marriage to his childhood sweetheart, Saira. By 1989, they moved to Krasnadar, Russia with their two children, seeking a simpler life as farm workers. It wasn’t until the family moved to Antalya, Turkey in 1998 that Cecil once again discovered his passion.
The secret artist landed a job creating advertising for local companies, and finally, his talents were called into play. Cecil gradually gained recognition for his artwork, and embarked on an eight year career which included traveling between Turkey and Russia, until political unrest in Russia made it impossible to remain in either country.
April 2005 saw the arrival of Cecil and his family in the United States under refugee status, and with the help of family already living in the US, they ended up in Atlanta, Georgia. Being so far away from their homeland under such stressful circumstances was very hard on Cecil and his family – but Cecil turned to his paints, finding inspiration and his true voice as an artist. When a friend, impressed by his work, suggested that Cecil should sell his art to the local galleries, the artist was stunned, having never realized that as a possibility. The success Cecil found as a professional artist has been for him the most exhilarating time of his life.