Leila Ataya


Unlock Your Artistic Potential

Mentorship is the fastest way to go from where you are today, to where you want to be!

Learn How Mentorship Works or join this mentors group below.

Mentoring Emerging Artists
Not sure if you’re an emerging artist? Find your stage here.

MEDIUM: Acrylic Paint | Watercolor Art | Mixed Media Art | Graphite Art | Egg Tempera
SPECIALTY: ✔ Technical

Leila is a lifelong artist, from the first moment that she took a paintbrush to the wall of her family’s Soviet Moscow flat to her international exhibitions all around the world, Leila has the traditional training across a wide range of media, technical mastery and experience as both a professional artist and a teacher that really helps her to understand and help her students to reach a whole new level in their own art.

She studied traditional Eastern European art including ceramics, lacquer miniature “Palekh” and also trained in Russian Iconography. Later she carried on with her passion for art in the Arts College in Moscow and continued classical (academic) training in watercolour and drawing.
Not long after she moved to New Zealand and entered Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland. In 2001 graduated with BFA in the Discipline of Painting and in 2008 received her PGDip from the same university. Leila won many art awards including Telecom Art Awards, The Nokia Art Awards – Asia Pacific and became a Distinguished Alumni of Onehunga High School in 2018.

Leila continuously exhibits globally and locally in New Zealand. Her works feature in many collections in New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, Russia, Dubai, South Africa, Italy, USA and UK. 

You can also find her art featured in many art books which have been published in various countries throughout the world like ‘Lowbrow Cats’, ’New Zealand’s Favourite Artists’, ’The Pin Up Project’ and many others.

Leila works tirelessly to help people embrace their inner creativity through her in person art classes and online through her YouTube channel where she provides easily accessible beginner tutorials to spark and inspire everyones inner artist.

Artwork by Michaela Hoppe
Artwork by Michaela Hoppe
Artwork by Michaela Hoppe
Artwork by Michaela Hoppe
Artwork by Michaela Hoppe
Artwork by Michaela Hoppe


Listed below are this Mentor’s specialty skills. Join this group if you want to grow in these areas.

Specialty: ✔ Technical



Colour and Composition


Technique Demos


Supplies and Tools – what to use, where to save, and where to spend



Shows and Exhibits



Running your art business the day-to-day


Studio Time Management

“Mastrius has done wonders for my confidence. I have managed to step way outside of my comfort zone which has in turn given rise to so many more opportunities to further my art career.”
~ Deb, Emerging Artist


select your mentorship group

If the group you’re interested in has a waitlist, you have the option to join another group to get started. When your group opens we can transfer you over.


Artwork by Michaela Hoppe

Leila has taken part in over 150 art shows and here are some selected exhibitions:

The Cats and the Bees, The Artist’s Room, Dunedin, NZ, 2022 – solo exhibition
Adams portraiture finalists, New Zealand Portrait Gallery, Wellington, NZ, 2020
The Empress, Dorothy Circus Gallery, London, UK, 2018-2019 – solo exhibition
Cat Portrait, Exhibition-Festival, St. Petersburg Artist’s Union Exhibition Centre, St Petersburg, Russia, 2017
Littletopia, Los Angeles Art Fair 2016, LA Convention Center, USA, 2016
Lacrima Aquarium, Acquario Romano Museum Casa Dell’Architettura, Rome, Italy, 2013
Inside Her Eyes, Palazzo Valentini – Arte Contemporanea, Rome, Italy, 2012
Secrets from the Hourglass, Dorothy Circus Gallery, Rome, Italy 2012 – solo exhibition
Swab – Art Fair, Barcelona, Spain, 2012
Pop Surrealism, Museo Carandente, Spoleto, Italy, 2010
Clustre, Reflections Art Gallery, WOW Museum, Nelson, NZ, 2009
Long Story About Life, The Artist’s Room, Dunedin, NZ, 2008 – solo exhibition
Contemporary Mix, Reflections Art Gallery, WOW Museum, Nelson, NZ, 2008
Nokia Art Awards – Asia Pacific, The Art Gallery, Silpakom University, Bangkok, Thailand, 2002
The Family, Letham Gallery, Auckland, NZ 2002 – solo exhibition