I’m a Tulsa Kid: Illia Arapov
Family & Children’s Art Contest Best of Show Winner
Illia Arapov. Photo by Sheeba Atiqi.
Family and tradition run deep in the Arapov family, and a big part of their family tradition is art. Illia Arapov, a Jenks fourth grader, also loves competing. Whether it’s competing with his brother building with MineCraft or entering the Family & Children Services (F&CS) art contest, 10-year-old Illia enjoys creative pursuits. Illia won Best of Show out of the hundreds of children’s artwork, from kindergarten through 12th grade, that was entered in this year’s F&CS art contest.
Q: I understand that your family is from Russia. When did you move here?
A: Dad is from Russia, but we were born and lived in Ukraine, in the city of Zaporozhye. We have been living in Tulsa since June 2018.
Q: Have you ever been to Russia?
A: Yes. Many times with dad’s parents.
Q: What does “family tradition,” the art contest theme, mean to you, and how did it inspire your painting?
A: We love spending time with our family. We like to travel a lot together and celebrate holidays together. I participated in competitions in Ukraine and won them. I like it. I love to draw from childhood and do crafts.
Ilia’s winning artwork
Q: How did you feel when you won Best of Show for your painting?
A: It was very unexpected! It was super! I was very worried and wanted to win!
Q: How did you learn to paint like that?
A: We draw a lot in the family. In kindergarten we were taught to draw. My mother teaches me to draw.
Q: If you could paint a scene in Tulsa, what would it be?
A: I really like Gathering Place Park. I would draw how we swim in a boat in the park. I would have painted the park as children play in the park.
Q: Who are your inspirations?
A: I was inspired to participate in the contest, I wanted to win. I wanted to show the traditions of our family and our country.
Q: What other hobbies do you have?
A: I like to make crafts out of cardboard and Legos. I play ice hockey. I like to ride a bike.
Q: What do you want to do in the future?
A: I would like to make 3D models and design something.
Q: Tell me a fun fact about you.
A: I know three languages. Russian, Ukrainian and here I study English. I traveled a lot with my family and have been to many countries — Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Germany, Austria, Egypt, Turkey, France, Monaco. Our family has friends in different countries.
In my free time I like to make crafts and do them. From Legos, I like to make mobile robots and mobile mechanisms. I like to build in Minecraft – my brother and I are competing – who will do better?!