Artem Travkin: ‘One of my most successful projects is Artem Travkin’

Photographer:Irina Litvin
Artem Travkin, one of the most well-known Kiev party-goers, tells us why he doesn’t spend Saturday nights at home, about his dream to become famous among traffic cops, about work for pleasure and when he will get married.


I don’t know why people call me blogger, because I don’t have a blog, I am more like a party-goer in a positive meaning. I calculated it not long ago that I go to parties and clubs for ten years and started to share it in social networks from 2008.
I did not party at school at all, was a good student, jumped on trampoline and was announced as ‘School King’ when I was in tenth class. It helped me to become more popular among girls, although… my first sexual experience happened when I was in university. I have diploma in economics, although I wanted to enter institute of foreign languages, but there are mostly girls down there and it would have been hard to think about studies in such a flower garden. That is why, taking into consideration the gender factor, I entered Kiev National Economic University.


Good guy

During my third year of studies, I started working as a brand manager of ‘Afisha’ site. After magazine’s closure, I was looking for something connected with Internet and advertising, that is how I entered to the Prodigi digital agency. They hired me to the position of an account manager but I failed, needed to be persevering. Then the agency director proposed me to try myself in SMM, saying: ‘Travkin, you use Vkontakte, you post your photos there, you have a lot of subscribers, do it!’. The Social media marketing was new in Ukraine at that time and I had to self-educate: I read foreign blogs, watched international cases and started practicing a bit. After Prodigi I worked in ‘Fol’ga’ advertising agency and later I started sailing on my own risk. Nowadays, I am a freelancer, SMM-specialist and good guy. It is so nice to work at the pool, drinking a cocktail than to sit in the office from 8 to 18, but I miss corporative parties.


Madonna is back in Kiev

I work not working. It’s a pleasure to me. I have under my belt a lot of projects and achievements, for example, according to socialbaker.com, among top 5 Ukrainian clubs, restaurants with most check-ins and likes, two are my clients. One of the most memorizing projects was with Red Bull Flying Bach, there I felt the power of social networks. When they came to Kiev I was responsible for their promotion in social networks. Studying the group history, I found out that one of the Flying Steps members has met Madonna when she was with her concert in Kiev. In the Internet I found their photo together with Kiev churches as background; he was wearing a T-shirt with Flying Bach and hugging a singer. Using this visual I signed it as there are rumors that Madonna is back in Kiev to watch her boyfriend’s performance. In five hours there was a call from Moscow Red Bull office to Kiev one: ‘Is Madonna coming to you?’. I think the rule of 5 handshakes worked; one person liked it, another – reposted it and the news is in Moscow. In a week I googled ‘Madonna is back in Kiev’ and received 600 sites quoting me word by word.


POH and more

Now, I mainly promote Kiev cafes and restaurants. After successful cooperation with Dmitry Borisov I received a lot of other clients. I also promote Vera Brezhneva tour in Germany, I work for my district good in personally created public – POH (Pozniaki, Osokorki, Harkovskiy) and write announcements of Kiev parties in my other creation – ‘Little party in da heart’. It appeared because every Friday I receive thousands of questions through social networks: ‘My friend from Odessa is coming. Tell me, where can we go with her? What’s gonna happen in Kiev during this weekend?’, once I was even asked ‘Where I can make a bailout?’ and I wasted a lot of time trying to give answers, now I prepare one announcement for everybody.
Some of the articles are ordered and I write them as a blogger. About 5% of my posts are advertising. I cooperate on absolutely different conditions, the maximum price for one post on Facebook and Instagram is 500$ but if we talk about socially important place like bookstore – it is for free. I only publish interesting things that I do like, I will never post any shit.


Pathologically not greedy man

One of my most successful projects is Artem Travkin, although I have never considered my pages as my work. Being popular in social networks helps me in my job, the wheelbarrow can’t be without a wheel, if you cannot promote yourself who can you promote? My ticket to success is that I am very enthusiastic and responsible regarding my content; I spend a lot of time to take photo and video, I have a lot of shooting equipment, I take thousands of shots, photoshop them and choose only one. I am also very peculiar in searching of new places and events and of course, I am willing to share my knowledge, because I am pathologically not greedy man.

Food adviser

I usually write about new places on the map of Kiev, my trips and tasty food. I spend Saturdays at home very rarely, in such evenings I feel like I can miss something interesting and important. I love to be a groundbreaker for my subscribers. I am looking for places with heartwarming atmosphere. Once my friends and me had trash-tour on cult ‘spooky places’ in Kiev; we, for example, visited pub in Podol where you can have tasty beer in plastic cup and fish packed in newspaper, and you can try this gastronomical masterpiece at the plastic table. As to the food, my squeamishness is simply an amputate feeling, even being in India I ate the most suspicious food at worst markets. In my posts I talk only about the food I like, I do not criticize, I write about good places with good kitchen, I am food advisor, not a food critic, that is why, probably, I do not receive angry comments under my posts. I love junk food, street food, everything that is fast and cheap. I cook very rarely only for my mom at her birthday and for the girls…well, you know, romantic rendezvous and glass of vine always work. For the first time, I put on culinary apron when I was a schoolchild, and we had a Ukrainian night during my trip to Scotland. I cooked two huge pots of borsch using my mother’s receipt for around 60 persons. It was really tasty. I have never cooked borsch again since that time.


Weed for Weedman

I travel a lot, especially after I have become a freelancer. I visited more than 25 countries; the most incredible place is Lapland – fairytale beyond the polar circle. Swimming in the Arctic Ocean is something incredible. I like Canary Islands and Amsterdam of course; I have a special story about it. Since my childhood everybody played tricks with my double surname meaning (as grass and as weed): ‘Weedman, Weedman, do u have some weed?’; even teachers could not avoid this topic: ‘Cannabisman, go to blackboard!’. At that time, I promised myself to try weed only in Amsterdam where it is legalized. People can envy my will power because I visited Amsterdam at the age of 26 for the first time. It’s hard to imagine, that party-goer with such surname, leaving on Pozniaki, had his first joint being 26 years old, incredible but true.


Trendsetter, bachelor, sportsman

I like being popular in social networks and I like that many people in Kiev know me. I would like to be popular even among traffic police, because such publicity gives many benefits, I have noticed it many times, working with stars.
I am bachelor for now because I plan to get married at 30 and I have three more years to select. I am looking for Travkin with breasts and without beard; if someone is similar with description please let me know.
I like sports, do not go to gym but do biking and skiing. I do not smoke usual cigarettes, only rolled ones, I think it’s a part of my image now as well as the beard.
In future, I would like to change my activity, I can hardly imagine myself as a 40 years old SMM specialist, still looking for something new in Kiev, I like to set trends, hope to succeed this time too.