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My Awards

DAN POYTNER'S GOLD AWARD

GLOBAL AWARDS - "GOLD"
Best Book Cover

DAN POYTNERS GLOBAL AWARDS
The Book Cover that I have created for "Shadows of Kings" Winner of GOLD at Global Awards.

Ural Akyuz - Award - Global Gold Award, Dan Poytner's Book Cover Contest, Shadows of Kings
Global ebook Awards, CLICK HERE for official global ebook awards web site
You can see some other photos and details about the organization here (PLEASE CLICK HERE)

Ural Akyuz is Gold Winner at Dan Poytner's Global Awards

Actually, I can say that the effect on me of this painting has been way beyond an award. I did not participate in the contest. I think my publisher Lida probably participated in the contest without my knowledge. Because I received the good news from her first. And thanks God, because you always teach me.


For me, an award and a work developed with enormous surprises. The author of the book Jack, is a valuable writer that I highly respect and feel honored to work with. When the book cover was finished, Jak did a short interview with me and posted it on his website.On the questions, I gave the following answers in February 2022:

"Shadows of Kings really has a very special place in my life. I had a very strong feeling that I would get an order for this kind of project. After two days with these feelings, I got a call from a publisher about Shadows of Kings. I thought this couldn’t be a coincidence. My second feeling, was this would be my best painting – not by choice, but by fate or destiny."

A whole year has passed. And the fate I spoke about at the interview, really happened. In 2013, it won really a global award and it become my globally approved best painting.

I can say that there is more of a series of things that I feel and that I haven't described here either. And I know that today there are some works that I cannot finish before a certain time has come. The painting and the award here will continue to inspire and strengthen me throughout my future life. Shadows of Kings also get the another award from Sharp Writ Book Awards, and it winner for 2012 Best Fantasy Book Award. The sequenced book Shades of Virtue also get Pinnacle Achievement Award on 2013. You can read the full interview with me by clicking here.
I have also copied the full reportage text here at below.

Ural Akyuz - Award - Global Gold Award, Dan Poytner's Book Cover Contest, Black and White Sketch Work
Ural Akyuz - Award - Global Gold Award, Dan Poytner's Book Cover Contest, Colored Sketch Work

How was the book cover created?

Jack's thoughts were very important in the idea stage. The author knows the book best. And I can say that his every idea is really valuable. For many writers, the concepts of where to go and where to stay are intertwined. But here, every work has always been carried out perfectly, exactly as it should be, in harmony, understanding and respect. Before starting the sketch work, it was actually apparent in the minds how the cover would be. The right person should be given the right prize. I cannot underestimate Jack's support at this stage. The cover is my painting, but it is about Jack.

Many artists take and retouch the photos and quickly create the cover with photos. In many works that I have not signed, it is possible for me to prepare 5, maybe 10 covers per day with this style. But this cover is never a simple cover in that style. Every light value, every color and every movement was created from white ground, that is, from scratch. Therefore, 1 cover art was worked out in 10 days, not 10 in a day.

After the book was published, we had many more works. Posters, t-shirts, mug prints, and more. I did other painting works on these and then a new work for the second book of the series. Shades of Virtue.

Reportage Texts

Judging a Book By its Cover: Interview with Ural Akyuz

(Jack) Introduction: I’m very proud to introduce a very talented artist, Ural Akyuz. For those visiting my blog for the first time, Ural is the artistic genius behind my Shadows of Kings book cover. After experiencing his work firsthand and visiting his website, I felt compelled to probe a little inside the man behind the paintbrush. But before I jump into the thick of things, I must confess that while singing your praises, I’m certain I’ve butchered your name on occasion. How do you pronounce it?
(Ural) Akyuz is a combined word from Ak (ack) and yuz (yous). The meaning of “Ak” is white and clean, the meaning of “yuz” is face or visage. My first name should be very easy because it’s the name of the mountain range located in Russia between Europe and Asia. My grandpa had some visions on the night that I was born. He told my parents about some unnatural creature – genie, or goblin that came from the Ural mountains. My dad said my poor grandpa was very scared. When I was born, they were inspired from my grandpa’s story while naming me.

(Jack) Thanks, Ural. Ok…first question. When did you first realize you had an artistic gift?
(Ural) I had a friend in the same class when I started middle school, who was the brother of an artist. First we created some comic books and produced many copies from them with transfer copy papers. Then we started to send our work to kid magazines. One of my paintings about a pop star was published at one of the top music magazines as a full-page poster when I was only fifteen years old.

(Jack) While initially developing your craft, were you able to surround yourself with supportive people?
(Ural) My family was very supportive of my talent, and they have tried to help me a lot. I also continue to work with my middle school friend. I have found many supportive people all around the world.

(Ural) My friend and I saw some TV commercials advertising a new local newspaper. They needed some talented artists for some comic strips. After showing them our work, they ordered forty pages of comics to publish. We both have a wonderful imagination, so we finished in a month. We sold it without any changes, and we were only sixteen years old.

(Jack) Your expertise stretches across a broad spectrum. Your work includes portraits, book covers, and web design – just to name a few. Is there a specific type of work you prefer?
(Ural)I always prefer to work on many branches, but always in the same tree – keeping busy and productive. This helps me feel more secure and informed of my industry. I do prefer oil paintings and enjoy working with book publishers. I’m also envious of writers. I wish I had the time to write something too. But that’s another tree in the same garden.

Ural Akyuz - Award - Global Gold Award, Dan Poytner's Book Cover Contest, Painting Finished
(Jack) Is there a particular piece of work you favor above all the others? And don’t feel you’re obligated to say mine.
(Ural) Shadows of Kings really has a very special place in my life. I had a very strong feeling that I would get an order for this kind of project. After two days with these feelings, I got a call from a publisher about Shadows of Kings. I thought this couldn’t be a coincidence. My second feeling, was this would be my best painting – not by choice, but by fate or destiny. And your help with the cover’s concept was most appreciated. This has absolutely been my favorite project to date.

(Jack) Since most of my readers are either authors or book enthusiasts, can you provide a quick dossier of publishers you have worked with?
(Ural) I have worked with Twilight Times Books, Baen Books, Heavy Metal Magazine and authors such as: Travis S. Taylor, Darrell Bain and Gerald Mills, Dave Freer, Nancy Fulda, Elizabeth Bear, Mike Resnick, andKristine Kathryn Rusch – to name a few. I have also worked for many big publishers in Istanbul. My portfolio also includes many covers and articles for Italian comic books and Swedish magazines.

(Jack) Are there any current projects you wish to share?
(Ural) I have completed a 120 page illustrated children’s book project. But I have to keep the details a secret right now. I am also working on ten more books. I also want to open a new art store with my wife. She is a very talented artist and we have illustrated many books together in the past.

(Jack) Thanks, Ural for taking the time to share your insights today. You are truly gifted.
(Ural) Thank you very much for your questions and for your time. If I have a gift, I’m really happy to share it with you. You have a perfect gift as a writer. You are sharing your unique imagination with us, so we know each other well.

(Jack) To those visiting this blog, please take the time to view Ural’s work. If you are fortunate enough to work with Ural… you will not be left wanting.
Click here to read it from the original text.

What's Next?

We completed the cover work of Shades of Virtue, the second book of the Dragon Rising Series, with the same discipline.

Shades of Virtue Book Cover. Ural Akyuz Second Book cover of the serie.


One more topic related with new cover art:

Shades of Virtue cover art:
"When I proposed the concept to the publisher, the senior editor had her doubts that he could pull it off. I never doubted, and sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, Ural Akyuz has hit another home run. I cannot say enough about his artistic abilities.

Ural Akyuz - Shades of Virtue, Promotional poster artwork. Dragon painting
Now that the cover art is complete, Ural’s next endeavor will be some new art for my swag. If you love Dragons, then you will not be left wanting.

As far as the release of Shades of Virtue is concerned, the actual date has not been nailed down yet by Twilight Times Books, but I’m still hopeful for an end of summer or early fall release. Trust me, I am just as frustrated as you are, but sometimes that is how things roll in this industry. If you enjoyed Shadows of Kings, I promise the wait will be worth it.

The third book, Shards of Malice is almost complete. I am just putting on the finishing touches. In the months to come, there will be an announcement about a new series related to my Avalla universe.

That wraps things up for now. I hope you like the cover of the second installment of the Dragon Rising series."

Click here to read Cover Art Release text from the original page.

Short Teaser Movie related with Dragon Rising Serie:

"Shadows of Kings" and "Shades of Virtue" are two great books that have an important place in my artistic career. I prepared covers and promotional illustrations for both books.

The book has received many important awards, and its cover won the Gold Award for Best Book Cover at the Dan Poytner Global Awards. It made me proud. Undoubtedly, the importance and contribution of the author Jack Whitsel is enormous. And of course our publisher. I certainly cannot discuss Jack's success in the literary field, and he has greatly contributed to the book in the artistic field also. I'm glad I deserve his trust in me.

The short movie you watched was made independently by me. I don't think there's going to be a problem with sharing, I think it would be a good promise. Background music was purchased from AG Soundtrax. Song name "The Queen of Desert". But of course I had to add countless effects. In the short video it's influence was also great.

Please Just keep in your mind, all the images herein are commercial and copyrighted materials. You can use this materials with respect to their owners. You can not use any item for any other book cover for any other materials.
_Ural Akyuz"


Ural Akyuz - Award - Global Gold Award, Dan Poytner's Book Cover Contest, Painting Full Book Cover Painting

The video is all about the author's opinions about me. As always, the fact that these beautiful thoughts and words were recorded live broadcast is much more valuable than an award for me. Thank you very much!.
You can find the original full lenght, archieved recording on the blog talk website.

Global ebook Awards, click here for official global ebook awards web site

You can see some other photos and details about the organization here (Click Here)