Nick Starichenko

My story started in Luhansk, Ukraine, where I was born in 1990. But for the biggest part of my life, I lived in Donetsk. I really like that place, I grew up there, finished school, got a Master`s degree, realized what I wanted to do in my life, found love and so on...

Most of the world didn`t know about my native city before summer 2014. We don`t have Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower or the Empire State Building or things like that. All we have are deep coal mines, a great soccer team and hardworking people. But the situation changed at the end of May 2014.  My city became the focus of military conflict. Officially we don`t have a war, officially we have an anti-terrorist operation. But in fact it is a war. I will not describe to you my hard time there, because the word "hard" has really changed meaning for me. Probably, you have heard a lot about the war from news about Ukraine and Russia. I have realized and changed my mind about so many things. Looking forward, I have understood that some things and problems in which I invested my time, attention, money, work: to a certain point they don`t matter at all. Sometimes I ask myself, was it really hard? I think my answer is NO. I am still alive, but so many people weren`t as lucky as me. Also, life taught me a lesson and changed my priorities.

 I never planned to live in New York. Of course I loved this great city from the movies, but in my childhood dreams sunny California more often played a part. But life can be unpredictable and I think it is great. I moved to NYC less than year ago and I am happy to be here.

I think at this moment many things depend on me. Life gave me a chance to realize my dreams. And I definitely will use it. My plans for the future are to keep working hard and to become the most successful commercial and fashion photographer in New York and then in the world.

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