Hi, welcome! My name is Art — to be certain, Artem. If you are here, it means you are interested in learning more. So take a couple minutes, grab some popcorn, and let me tell you a little bit about my story.
I was born in the small town of Dobropillya, Donetsk Region in East Ukraine. I was raised by my mom and grandparents. I always loved creativity, and did a bunch of dancing, journalism, acting, and writing when I was in high school.
In 2014, my life changed. A lot. I finished high school right when war came to my country. I knew I was gay — and even though Ukraine is trying to be tolerant to LGBTQ people, it was far from a comfortable place to build a life for me. And now there was a war 80 miles from my house. So I had to take a radical step — and I left my country.
My family was pretty lower-middle class, but I had a big dream: Be free and build my life the way I want for me and my family. And I definitely have the best mom in the world. So we took a risk: We borrowed a bunch of money from her friends, and sent me with only three months allowance to Warsaw, Poland. By myself. Being only 17. Without really knowing Polish that well. I went to the capital to study at the University of Management in Warsaw.
My three years in Poland definitely helped me to grow up. Having two jobs and full-time school. Working months without a day off. Being expelled from the university, and then getting back into it. Learning different jobs, from giving away flyers, to being a receptionist, sales associate, and manager.
I brought my mom to Poland only six months after I moved out — I never wanted to leave her in the city next to war. So we moved in together in a small studio, and slept on small couch for two and a half years. Yes, I did slept with my mom till I was 20! But she worked at night, and I worked during the day, so it kind of worked out.
Three years in Poland made a shape of Art. I never really had time after school to do what I wanted to do — be creative.
I needed to survive.
After arriving in the USA on June 23, 2017, I started selling kites in a kite shop. I got this job by myself. I still think it is one of the biggest achievements of my life: I got a job in the USA after being in Poland without help, since by then I had a big way of working in the service industry. I had $500 when I moved to America — just like in classic movies. I had zero fear, though.
After my summer program, I decided that I wanted to stay and build my life here in the USA. I had a gay landlord, and after seeing how he can live freely in the USA, I was really shocked. I knew it was cool here in a majority of places, but I didn’t know it was that cool.
I moved to NYC just for one night — hated it. Left for Chicago, where I built up and finished my paperwork. (You can’t just stay here without paperwork, so it took me awhile to save up money for a lawyer and get everything done.) I worked my ass off at different restaurants, working lots of hours. Met a lot of xenophobia at some of them, bureaucracy in immigration, and homophobia from some Russian and Ukrainian people who lived in the USA already. But I never really gave up.
Remember, I was gay. Gay, and still in closet. I never really dated anyone.
After two years in Chicago, I decided to take my “American dream” to another level — Hollywood. I believed that was where I wanted to be. I packed my shit and moved again. That didn’t work out well, besides one thing: I finally started to accept the gay side of me. I went on dates, got my heart broken. I got myself into working as a stripper, or a lap-dance guy. (I don’t know which is the better description.)
Overall, I had done everything but what I actually came there for. I fucked up. And after being there for six months, I realized that was not really for me.
Long story short: I came back to Chicago. Worked my ass off in restaurants. And then Covid started. After the quarantine, I decided to go to Austin, Texas. Why? I honestly just googled “what is the best city to live in USA”.
With barely any money again, I moved to Austin. I started to work in a call center — but I hated it, so I got another job as a waiter. I worked in that restaurant for five months. Until I had a Christmas Miracle.
Now we are getting to a plot twist.
I loved social media, and I started a YouTube channel that was in Polish about life in America. I did it the same time after I quit the call center. I got to three thousand subscribers, which was pretty awesome, but I faced again people guessing my sexuality… and I was ashamed of it, because I was pretending to be straight. I was giving, you know… they would say I was giving a “Cher”. I was so tired. Almost 24 years old, and still in closet.
In November 2020, everything changed when I started my TikTok. I was trying to do some lipsync and comedy, and still pretending to be a little bit straight, but in the next month on Christmas I posted a video that changed my life.
It was a coming-out video — me walking with a LGBTQ flag in front of the Bank of America. You would ask why? I don’t know! We just thought I needed to do it somewhere in public, and the BOA parking lot had pretty good lighting.
Three hours after posting, I had over 500,000 views. I went viral. I already had 30,000 followers before this video, but after five days I had 130,000 followers.
My life changed. I inspired a lot of younger and even older people. Just by being myself, I guess? I was really shocked. I continued creating my content, and started to grow on all different platforms by sharing my story, doing pride videos, thirst traps, comedy videos…
I started to go live, and created an amazing community around me. I quit my job because my Patreon and other platforms were paying me more, and I could focus on my content creation. Different photographers reached out to me to do some sexy-shmexy photoshoots. I started to love my body more and more, and feeling more accepted.
One year after I moved to Austin, I felt like I outgrew this city, and wanted to do bigger things. I moved to New York City to finally make my biggest dreams come true. If you can make it here, it means you can make it anywhere, right?
What do I do now? I create content. I entertain people with short videos, livestreams, thirsty pics, and sharing a lot of my body on OnlyFans. (Don’t give me shit about it, though — I don’t do porn. I don’t have anything against people who do, but for me it is a good way to monetize my content, helping me to make my dreams come true, and also sharing parts of my body for people who appreciate it.) I tell my stories on YouTube and my podcast. I live in the Upper West Side, and I’m dating a beautiful, kind guy.
Wow, that was quite a long story! If you are still here, I really thank you very much that you read it. It means a lot. I’ve had a big and bumpy road, so maybe my experiences will help some people to believe in themselves — or at least make them smile.
Hey, I’ve been nominated for Social Media Personality of the Year by the Grabbys! Just register to vote, select the Europe version, then find me in the Social Media category! Thank you!