Leonid Turchenyuk – Top Model Interview

Name: Leonid Turchenyuk

Age: 32

Height: 173 cm

Hometown: Moscow, Russia

Agency: no agency yet

Instagram: leoturch

1. How did you get into modeling?

We all have bad times in our life. Last year I had one of those. It was the time all fell apart because of one deceitful person. I was upset, extremely angry and had nothing to reach for. I remember mornings I didn’t want to open my eyes. I was exhausted emotionally and had no motivation to move forward. That moment I received this message on Instagram from a male photographer with gorgeous photos, Timur Mironov. Seeing no body pics of me he said «Leo, you got a beautiful face, let’s make a photoshoot». It was a surprise because I never thought I could be interesting to any photographer as a model. Especially because I had no huge muscles, big height and I was always embarrassed to be photographed having lots of childish complexes. Plus I didn’t understand how a bold guy can be a model. Normally I’d say no to this kind of offer, but that time it was different even though I was full of doubts suppressed by lots of fears. I had nothing to do and nothing to lose. And we did it. While we were shooting Timur showed me some photos and I was like «wow is that really me?! I didn’t know my body can look so ripped and curvy». Timur has selected 120 good ones of 300 photos we made and said it was a successful shoot. When I had 25 retouched I was so afraid to post ‘em because it was not just about changing other’s perception of me, especially relatives and friends. But that time I said to myself I should do this to change the most important perception, my own. Right after I started posting these photos, I had few prepositions from famous male photographers, Stas Vokman and Pavel Lepikhin. I didn’t plan to participate in photoshoots again, but wanted to make sure I had first good one not just because of a talented photographer but because I can pose and convey emotions. I have forced my fears and did it. You can see the result of each photoshoot I had on my Instagram page and in some online male magazines, as Eroticco Magazine, All Hunk Men Magazine, Adon Magazine, DNA Magazine and others.

2. What are you doing if you are not modeling?

To be honest, I didn’t plan to become a model. Actually I don’t think of me as a model even now I got this status everybody talks about. I still separate me in real life from that masculine sexy guy with severe look on photos. I don’t behave this way in ordinary life, you know. At the same time I admit this guy is a part of me, the one was always hidden not just from people around but from me also. I call it my personal mr Hyde or my own Hulk, if you know what I mean)

Modeling means to me a lot because it not just improves my self-esteem or helps to fight complexes, it also makes me to take care of my body, appearance and wellness. It motivates to become the best version of me.

Of course modeling is not all I’m about, because my main job for more than 10 years is graphic design. Actually design appeared in my life after I had some experience in shooting myself while I was retouching photos. I remember I was really interested in knowing how to make this perfectly smooth skin I saw in magazines. That period I had a part-time job as an assistant to several famous photographers and saw how professional models behave in front of a camera lens. I was this type of inconspicuous laborer no one cares about and had no thought one day I’ll be in center of attention in this process. Years after it came true.

3. The most spontaneous/difficult/strange thing you’ve ever done?

Recently I took part in the advertising campaign for The Pack Underwear brand. Among other clothes in new collection me and Pavel Lepikhin had to shoot one a unisex type, mostly feminine I’d say, meshy and lacy bodice with big neckline and garters. Some models refused to shoot in this one, and I have to admit it was not an easy decision for me too. But this is where the border between a muscle guy taking part in photoshoots for fun and the one who wants the become a professional model lies. Being a model is not always about wearing clothes you like. If you say «yes» to a customer, you have to accept all conditions. Sometimes it takes to challenge yourself. Considering this bodice I had to promote something I didn’t wear before, something that looks provocative, uncommon and disputes masculinity. Also it was a trial I had to take to prove myself I can be different, flexible and professional. My task was to make people want to buy this bodice, to present this thing most advantageously, present it beautifully and seductively. And I know I did it the best way I could.

4. What’s your life motto?

If you face something really hard, something that looks impossible or scares you, face it. You got to try no matter what, because «hard» doesn’t mean «impracticable», it only means you have to force yourself to step out of your comfort zone. And if you dare, you will get your benefits. Sometimes it reveals your hidden resources, talents and strength  you did not know you have before. The most important thing taking this kind of decisions is to listen to yourself, not what others gonna think or say. Our life is about our own acts and deeds, and to be honest it’s not that long as we think it is. So if you don’t do what you believe in, why to live? You can always take your time to regret because of your fails, but the things you were successful in will show you everything was not in vain.

Dream bigger. But not only dream, dream and do small or big steps to what you desire. Live your passion and don’t stop hoping no matter what, because hope gives us strength.

5. Describe your personal style – Favorite Brands/Fragrance?!

When I was 17 or so I payed lots of attention to how I look, smell or what I wear. Now it’s different. It doesn’t mean I don’t care, it means Im not trying to impress anyone wearing uncomfortable but stylish things. I feel cosy wearing basic clothes, preferably grey or dark blue with no prints or brand signs. Aging made my taste different, realizing the charm of simplicity and comfort. In time you understand the most important thing about you is not what you wear, it’s you, your shape, face and personality.   Your price is not about the price of clothes you wear.

Considering fragrances I always preferred fresh mono-ones. The one I use for many years is green tea. Sometimes I think this scent hypnotise me with its simplicity and fits me so nice. Once again, it’s very important to Identify yourself the right way this moment of time. Before bying something anticipate the way you gonna feel wearing it. Comfort is a must. If it’s inside, it’s outside)

6. What genre of music best describes you?

Definitely lounge jazz and piano. It may sound funny, but I was always attracted to the music in restaurants, the one doesn’t bother but creates a calm mood. It’s not about classics, it’s about comfort. I often work listening to that kind of music and it always plays in my apartment.

7. Where are your roots – The best thing about/to do in your hometown?

My mother is Russian, my father is Ukranian, but his genes were stronger than my mother’s, so it’d be more correct to say I’m mostly Ukranian than Russian. I was born and raised in Moscow, and some Russians say it is a happiness, because Moscow is not Russia as it is strikingly different from other Russian cities. Anyhow, I live here for 32 years and this is my home. For the first time tourists usually visit worldwide known places, but If you ask my advice how to discover true Moscow, go to suburbs, where ordinary people live. Yes, people like me)

Moscow has a huge variety of entertainment options, if you have money of course. Otherwise you can enjoy its parks, squares and central streets. And if you ever want to visit it, please do it in summer, as there’s nothing more depressive in whole world than Russian winter. Not because it’s cold, but because of suicidal grey sky and no sun at all during about 8 months a year. Bet you didn’t know that, eh?

8. Name one celebrity you’d like to get naughty with!

Vera Brezhneva of course!

9. Do you have any special Talents?

Some think I’m a good graphic designer, but who am I to say?) Yeah, I was always a shy guy, so I think this question is mostly for the ones who know me good.

10. What is the most interesting thing online at the moment?

At this period of time the most exciting thing that happens online is seeing the reaction every new photo I post. Frankly speaking I see some results of this kind of activity in my life. I’d call it a hobby by now, but at the same time it thrills and excites me doing something I didn’t do before. Especially if we talk about exposing body and promoting provocative fetish clothes. Looking forward I have some plans and perspectives considering being a model. But if it won’t lead me to anything I won’t upset, because I already have my piece of cake.

Photo credits: @pavel_lepikhin – @stas_vokman_production – @miro_ph18