Vadim Ostapenko, Owner, Artamax Creative Design Solutions

  • 12 Jan 2021 10:15 AM
Vadim Ostapenko, Owner, Artamax Creative Design Solutions
Vadim is a founder and creative director at the Artamax, creative agency specializing in branding, identity design and website development.

You can check his studio website here:

He’s started his design career back in 1997 in Moscow, at Art. Lebedev Studio, then relocated to Budapest to explore European lifestyle and creative markets.

By blending creative talent and technological competency Vadim participated in designed and development of numerous well known Hungarian web portals covering Budapest and Europe.

Being a senior designer with over 20 years of experience Vadim is sharing the knowledge in all aspects of branding strategy, usability and cross media communications with clients all over Europe.

Besides being a founding member of several start-ups he participated in various design projects, both online and off-line; has worked with many of the world’s most exciting companies in both, corporate and non-corporate environments, including a European Commission, World Bank, REC, IOTA, OECD and others.

Vadim is married to Melinda and has two kids, Sonia and Daniel.

1. When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here?

I have arrived in September 1998. That time i just graduated from university in Moscow with an aviation weapons related diploma. Iron curtain was vanishing so it felt like a good time to travel in Europe a bit.
Budapest was one of the destinations on the list, i was hoping that since Hungary had a socialist past it would be easy enough to get by with the language. Ohh, what a mistake it was!

I was planning to stay for a month or so to learn more about Hungary itself and surrounding countries.
Then suddenly one of my new friends introduced me to Peter Freed. Already then i had several month of experience designing and building websites.

After the short interview i got my first job in Budapest, becoming a designer and web developer for "Budapest Week" magazine. Later on working on "Budapest Style" and "Best of Budapest" websites as well.

Budapest took me by surprise: instead of spending few weeks i have returned to Moscow first time 1,5 years later.    
2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?  

No, not really. I have spent seven years in Mongolia when i was a kid, though : ).

3. What surprised you most about Hungary?

At first the language: it is so different from Latin or Slavic language families, you need to train your ear and tongue. Then came a pleasant surprise: very nice and comfortable climate comparing to Russia. I really don't like the snow!

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?

Weekend is definitely not enough! Walk as much as possible all over, both downtown and Caste Hill, enjoy the mood and architecture. Biking is also a great way to enjoy. Share a bottle of wine at the bank of the Danube. Spend the evening in one of the gorgeous Budapest bath places and polish up with a great dinner exploring Hungarian cuisine and pálinka.    

5. What is your favourite Hungarian food?

Pacalpörkölt! No no, just kidding. It think nothing can beat the properly made pörkölt, on the fire, in the bogrács.

6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?

Hungarian szalámi or kolbász, wine, cheese.

7. What is your favourite Hungarian word?

There are many words in Hungarian which make me smile. For example when people are calling each other "Husikám" - it's hard to translate it to any other language.
Favourite word probably would be "Szombat" - for me it's definitely related to zombies and zombie-style behaviour which i can notice in Hungarians on every Saturday, especially when shopping or driving.    

8. What do you miss most from home?

Friends, my wonderful friends. And that special way how Russian people can communicate and share moments of life together. Hungarians are really different.

9. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?

Marine biologist or something similar; anything which would include more time spent outdoors and traveling, not being in front of the monitor most of the daytime.

10. What's a job you would definitely never want?

Guard, police, soldier or armed forces of any kind.

11. Where did you spend your last vacation?

I am trying to travel as much as possible, even if it's not easy with 2 kids. Current situation with travel industry is really really sad. Last vacation I have spent driving throughout Balkan region and Albania.
This part of Europe is absolutely gorgeous and authentic!

12. Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?

Ohhh... I had to cancel my tickets to Spain just recently, the plan was to go to the ocean side on the south of Europe and Portugal. Pandemic made everything complicated or impossible. Hard to plan, probably driving in Europe in summer and go to Morocco for the winter.    

13. Apart of temptation what can't you resist?

Aged Single Malt Scotch.

14. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?

That time i was completely submerged in heavy and trash metal music. Judas Priest, Sodom, Slayer, Kreator, Candlemass and many many other favourites.  
Later came blues and then jazz.

15. Red wine or white?

Both are fine depending on the season, surroundings or circumstances.
Lately it seems rosé wines are actually winning overall, especially considering that last several years the quality of rosé wines produced in Hungary one of the best in Europe.  

16. Book or movie?

That depends on time available. Audio books also work well for me, I listen to them often.
They can serve as a background for routine work or driving, travel time killer or a way to entertain / educate yourself with relaxed eyes when no reading involved.  

17. Morning person or night person?

Owl. Monday morning is the worst time ever!

18. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?

"Cancel culture" and current bizarre situation with freedom of expression and a right to state different opinion against "liberal" majority. BLM movement and everything what is happening in US recently is a very disturbing example of where Europe should not go to.  

19. Buda or Pest side?

Definitely Pest. After few years Buda is just boring.

20. What would you say is your personal motto?

When you do something, do it right. Bad things happen on their own.

Photo by: Daniel Végel

  • How does this interview make you feel?