The Heroine’s Journey of Leila Ataya

What is the best thing that I love about my work? My work is what I was born to do and can’t imagine not working on anything creative. I am also my own boss so I can plan things ahead and make my own decisions on what I am going to do next.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?  I don’t think that there is a ‘perfect happiness’ out there. We are all striving towards it but the real happiness is in the process of achieving your next goal. 

What is my greatest fear? On a global scale probably another World War.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? I work very hard and constantly keep busy with work, family, household etc and find it hard to relax. I know that I need to put some time aside for some down time but I take on so much that it just never happens.
What is my greatest extravagance? Don’t really have one. 
On what occasion would I lie? Haha I get complaints for being too honest.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? One thing would be dealing with censorship and another would be the accounting and paperwork. I don’t actually mind doing it, it just feels like I could be painting or doing something more productive…. but it has to be done. 

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? I usually feel happiest when I am working on a project or a commission that I am really excited about. Sometimes I don’t even want to leave my studio and just go on until it’s finished.

If I could, what would I change about myself? Hard to say.. If you change yourself you will not be you and it’s important to be yourself as we all have a purpose or a specific role to play. What I think is important is to be your best self and sometimes it may take more than one lifetime to get there. 
What is my greatest achievement in work? It’s a hard question as it really depends on the category of achievement.  On a personal level I guess it could be my largest painting that I have created to date or some of my personal shows that I worked very hard on. Public achievements would probably be big commissions, awards and book features.

Where would I most like to live? At the moment I am happy living in New Zealand. The only downside is that it’s harder to travel as it it quite far away from the rest of the world.

What is my most treasured possession? If we are talking about objects then it will be sentimental things and objects/letters from my greatgrandparents. 
What is my most marked characteristic? Hm… I actually had to ask around to answer this one 🙂 Apparently I am a very tenacious person and if I promise something I do it.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? Auckland has many beautiful scenic places – Waitakere Ranges, Cornwall Park, Arataki Centre – are all great places to visit to relax and recharge your batteries.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? Elevation Cafe and Restaurant – not for the food but for the view.
What books influenced my life and how? I don’t know if it’s fortunate or unfortunate but lately it’s been more podcasts and interviews rather than reading books. It’s very convenient as I can listen while I paint.
Who are my favourite writers? Strangely enough it’s more classic than contemporary, Jack London, Jules Verne, Lev Tolstoi and some others.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? That would probably be something that would be constantly changing as I get a new favourite every week, at the moment it is Sommarfagel by Wintergartan.
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime?  ‘A Girl and A Dolphin’.  It is a Soviet animated film with beautiful music by Eduard Artemyev 
What role plays art in my life and work? I am an artist… so a really big one.
Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2018? Hahaha too many to mention. Actually I don’t meet enough people as I spend so much time working in my studio on my projects.
Where can you see me or my work in 2018? I’ve got a personal show coming up this year at The Artist’s Room Gallery, Dunedin, New Zealand and a showing at The Dorothy Circus Gallery in London, UK later in the year. Some group shows in New Zealand and Russia.
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? Well, that’s just it. If you are passionate about something you can’t stop thinking about it, things you hear or see remind you about it and it’s constantly rolling around in your head with one thought provoking another and the subject keeps constantly evolving… it doesn’t stop. This is actually my creative process from one painting to another.
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Alexandra Mazzanti – Dorothy Circus Gallery Director, Michelle Chalklin – The Artist’s Room Gallery Director
How can you contact me? 

Instagram leilaleilaataya.com6456

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