We had the good fortune of connecting with Leila Amia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leila, how do you think about risk?
I personally love risk. Maybe it’s just the way I’m wired, but I find the safe and certain boring. I say this not coming from a place of brazen impulsivity and irresponsibility, but calculated risk-taking. I view life as both a game and a school: a school with the coolest playground if you will. I believe that if one takes the necessary steps to learn about oneself and certain universal laws, risk becomes much more contained. It becomes the parameters for growth.
Something is seen as risky because it triggers fear. Fear is often needed and helps us survive, but after a certain point becomes detrimental. Changing your outlook on a situation quite often changes the very situation, after which you realise fear, or courage for that matter, are just the filters you see & create the world through. You start to become a bit more optimistic with the filters you pick. As I integrate more and more the facet that the outer world is simply a reflection of my consciousness, I find less things scary, and by improving first my inner world, I’m able to safely hedge against risks in the outer. I now use fear as a locating vector for the areas of my life I have yet to improve. Fear is the key. When it arises, concentrate. It’s a window to the next level.
Career wise, alongside photography and directing, I also work in DeFi (decentralised finance). During this crypto bull market I’ve understood deeper the risk-management of individuals and institutions alike. For the most part, it remains a psychological game best played in the absence of emotions. But we’re not cyborgs (yet!), and our emotions have to be factored in when making moves. Sometimes they can be the very thing that helps us win. This is why it’s so important to learn about your personal predispositions and path in life, so that you begin to take the right risks. Even if you don’t, you’ll still gain valuable wisdom from failing, which to me is better than playing it safe.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work. What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way?
Making art somehow turned into religiously creating content for social media, for many people. Suddenly success seems to be determined by the churning speed of your content mill and how quickly you adopt new marketing trends. Sadly, I found myself losing motivation for my art because I correlated it with my ‘success’ in today’s highly competitive digital world and got discouraged. But I’m now remembering why I did it in the first place, before a virtual version of me ever existed. To add beauty to banality, to remember, and to forget. So I’m starting to engage with my craft again, simply because I like to. Because it’s good for me. Marketing myself is something I still struggle with though and look forward to improving.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would start each day with a morning hike in the canyons of Palisades or Topanga, and then swim in the ocean to cool off – that’s my usual morning routine. I’d take us to my family of friends in Joshua Tree, maybe camp in the park. I’d also take us to my commune in Ojai, and definitely camp in those mountains. I know a lot of secret waterfalls and hot springs there. There’d be quite a few Venice Beach afternoons skating or biking, and maybe a couple of WeHo dinners to balance it out. There’s always something interesting to do with my spiritual friends: ecstatic dances, laser shows, breath-work, alien communication, medicine healing ceremonies, secret desert raves in the Mojave, etc,. As for partying – let’s just say I got you.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I wouldn’t be where I am without the tribe I’m blessed with. I’m grateful to my parents, my blood brothers and then my extended family of brothers and sisters all around the world who shower me with love, encouragement and inspiration constantly. Not a day goes by that I don’t trip over the amazingness of the people in my life. I seem to have a thing for attracting angels in human bodies.
I’d also like to thank the radiant spiritual teachers who illuminate my path and pull me up higher, step by step. Inexplicably honoured.
I’d like to give a special thanks to my dear friend Andy Rodriguez for always seeing my potential, pushing me to do better and creating more opportunities than I can count. I couldn’t ask for a better mentor and friend.
Humbled and grateful every day.
Instagram: leilaamia, leilashotyou
Pic of me: Oscar Velay