The Heroine’s Journey of Iris Osp Sveinbjornsdottir

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

As a freelance graphic designer, I have the privilege to choose my projects and take the time I need to fulfill my artistic needs as well. I love making art through both photography and graphic design.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?

To be at peace with yourself and your surroundings, your tasks and to give more love to the world.

To sit on the sofa with my kids and dog, eating popcorn and watching good animation.

To watch your kids grow up to be amazing people.

What is my greatest fear?

For myself or my loved ones to lose their health….

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

Both that I can be too impulsive, I could sometimes take a moment to breathe and think it through and sometimes I do question my talents, I underestimate myself and my work.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?

Paula Scher, she is an American graphic designer, painter and art educator in design. She was also the first female principal at Pentagram. It´s a rough man’s world out there in my profession but us women are coming in strong and that to thank, are strong women in the field that didn’t listen to any bull****.

What is my greatest extravagance?

Finding beautiful used items such as furniture or clothes, it fascinates me to find items and imagine the story behind it. The journey it has been on.

Getting a new tattoo is also my hidden pleasure.

On what occasion would I lie?

Maybe for another slice of chocolate cake?

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

Explaining prices, to justify the price and to discuss the price To put a price tag on my work and charge it ..

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?

I think I have to mention when I published my children’s book called “Sokkasrkímslið” (Sock monster). I found that project very giving, also because my older son Adam Baltasar had a big role in doing that with me.

You can find it here:

If I could, what would I change about myself?

I would like to learn to be a little bit more determent.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

Last March I got sponsored by the city of Reykjavik to put up a show in Reykjavik. There I had 24 women in graphic design exhibit their work. The exhibition was very diverse and showed well how many talented women are in the profession in Iceland. It was a success!

Where would I most like to live?

I think I would like to go back to Italy. The people, the food, the weather! I lived in Florence for four beautiful years – It is kind of strange to feel homesick to somewhere else than were you are born and raised.

What is my most treasured possession?

Except my kids and my dog, I think it is my studies. I heard this sentence couple of years back from a father to a daughter during world war 2:

Put as much as you can inside your head because that is something nobody can take away from you”.

Very meaningful sentence.

What is my most marked characteristic?

Sensitivity. I cherish it because I am learning to work with it better. And Kindness – Be kind to everyone, just sprinkle that shit everywhere!

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

I get inspiration in going to flee markets and art exhibitions. To get more connected I take a walk by the sea or in the incredible landscape around the city. It takes you only few minutes to have lava and moss all around you. Hard and rough nature of Iceland is more than inspirational, it is beyond this world.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city?

For work it’s “Te og kaffi” in Borgartún, the staff is always super nice, and they serve the best coffee. For food I will have to say “Italia” that restaurant is the closest I can get to Florence, Italy. Then I recently tried “Sumac” restaurant which is absolutely fantastic!

Both are located in Laugavegur, the main shopping street here in Reykjavik.

What books influenced my life and how?

I think I have to mention “Work for money, design for love” by David Airey. It was a great boost for me as a newly graduate student with the big design world ahead of me. Too many women in my field have a hard time valuing themselves and their work. I saw it on a regular basis during my final essay and after I started my freelance career. David has a lot of well-argued reasons for how you should value better your time and talent.

Who are my favorite writers?

When searching for new books I usually look first after books by Dan Brown. I really like the mystery in his writing and Robert Langdon is a great character. When growing up I fell in love with Margit Sandemo and her mysterious writing on the books of “Ísfólkið” (Ice people) Then we have Gerður Kristný, Arnaldur Indriða, Vigdís Gríms and Ragnar Jónasson to name a few great writers here in Iceland.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?

Hmm… My go to music is grunge and rock and roll. The best radio station in Iceland is X- 977, for most days I listen to that, but I do also like Indie music and chilled electronics. Though I think I would be a little more dramatic for my last day.. I would probably play Mozart Requiem or something.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

Deadpool, because he has insanely crazy funny sense of humor. Or Thor, he is after all in my descent Viking roots.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

I will have to name Vigdis Finnbogadottir, our first female president here in Iceland and the first one to win election as a female president worldwide. She is an entrepreneur and an exceptionally beautiful person and a good role model. When she got elected she was a single mother with a daughter. Vigdis did her job as a president so well that it will be talked about and remembered forever.

Which movie would I recommend seeing once in a lifetime?

I’m a huge fan of well animated films so I would recommend “Megamind” or the “Angry birds” movie – Thankful I have kids that I can take to the movies!

What role plays art in my life and work?

It plays a huge role in my life – It’s what I thrive on. I don’t think I could go on without it. It seems a very dull world without art in it.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

My family and friends – My best go go buddies. I am so thankful for the great people around me; they have unfailing belief in me and are always super supportive.

I do also have a dog who is absolutely my greatest fan!

Whom would I like to work with in 2019?

No one in particular actually, people in general fascinates me. I like working with different people with different backgrounds. To have two or more different perspectives on a project, are often the projects that makes you grow, both as a designer and as a person.

Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2019?

I would love to meet Paula Scher and Seigmeister – That would be delightful!

What project, in 2019, am I looking forward to work on?

I am doing a second issue of a new children/teenage magazine here in Iceland in fall, I’m sure it’s going to be as fun as the first one.

Where can you see me or my work in 2019?

The “Sockmonster” book and “HVAД the magazines for young people you can find in book stores, then I have my studio: Reykjavik Underground for my graphic design work. I make graphic design things under the name “Punkland”.

You can browse through my site here:

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

Do what you love, and you will not work a day in your life.

Even through obstacles, passion for what you love will always find its way.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

Simone Haack, she is such a talented artist from Germany.

How can you contact me?

by mail:



Here follows a message of Peter de Kuster, founder of the Heroine’s Journey 


The Heroine’s Journey is a private tour in story rich venues of world cities with Peter de Kuster, to rewrite the story you tell yourself about yourself and your creative work and in the process transform your life and business.

What is your Story?

“Your story is your life,” says Peter. As human beings, we continually tell ourselves stories — of success or failure; of power or victimhood; stories that endure for an hour, or a day, or an entire lifetime. We have stories about ourselves, our creative business, our customers ; about what we want and what we’re capable of achieving. Yet, while our stories profoundly affect how others see us and we see ourselves, too few of us even recognize that we’re telling stories, or what they are, or that we can change them — and, in turn, transform our very destinies.

Telling ourselves stories provides structure and direction as we navigate life’s challenges and opportunities, and helps us interpret our goals and skills. Stories make sense of chaos; they organize our many divergent experiences into a coherent thread; they shape our entire reality. And far too many of our stories, says Peter, are dysfunctional, in need of serious editing. First, he asks you to answer the question, “In which areas of my life is it clear that I cannot achieve my goals with the story I’ve got?” He then shows you how to create new, reality-based stories that inspire you to action, and take you where you want to go both in your work and personal life.

Our capacity to tell stories is one of our profoundest gifts. Peter’s approach to creating deeply engaging stories will give you the tools to wield the power of storytelling and forever change your business and personal life.

What Can I Expect?

Here’s an outline of The Heroine’s Journey.

Journey Outline


  • The Power of your Story
  • Are you even trying to tell a Story?
  • Old Stories  (stories about you, your art, your clients, your money, your self promotion, your happiness, your health)
  • Tell your current Story
  • Is this Really Your Story?


  • The Premise of your Story. The Purpose of your Life and Art
  • The words on your tombstone
  • You ultimate mission, out loud
  • The Seven Great Plots
  • The Twelve Archetypal Heroes
  • The One Great Story
  • Purpose is Never Forgettable
  • Questioning the Premise
  • Lining up
  • Flawed Alignment, Tragic Ending
  • The Three Rules in Storytelling
  • Write Your New Story


  • Turning your story into action
  • Story Ritualizing
  • The Storyteller and the art of story
  • The Power of Your Story
  • Storyboarding your creative process
  • They Created and Lived Happily Ever After.

About Peter de Kuster

Peter de Kuster is the founder of The Heroine’s Journey & Hero’s Journey project,  a storytelling firm which helps creative professionals to create careers and lives based on whatever story is most integral to their lifes and careers (values, traits, skills and experiences). Peter’s approach combines in-depth storytelling and marketing expertise, and for over 20 years clients have found it effective with a wide range of creative business issues.


Peter is writer of the series The Heroine’s Journey and Hero’s Journey books, he has an MBA in Marketing,  MBA in Financial Economics and graduated at university in Sociology and Communication Sciences.

Become a great Storyteller

That’s why I set up The Heroine’s Journey in the great cities of the world.  A new way to use the power of your story.  To guide you to life-changing, eye-opening movies, art, literature that truly have the power to enchant, enrich and inspire.

In this journey with Peter de Kuster you’ll explore your relationship with stories so far and your unique story identity will be sketched. You will be guided to movies, art, literature, myths that can put their finger on what you want to rewrite in your story, the feelings that you may often have had but perhaps never understood so clearly before; movies that open new perspectives and re-enchant the world for you.

You will be asked to complete a questionnaire in advance of your session and you’ll be given an instant story advice and movies to see to take away. Your full story advice and movies to see list will follow within a couple of days.

Book your private story coaching tour

You can choose from three options:

  1. The Heroine’s Journey Short and Powerful.   This is a 8 hours – private story coaching,  one day, one – on – one with Peter de Kuster. The price is Euro 2500 excluding VAT including lunch and drinks. You can bring a maximum of three (business) partners to the private tour if you choose to.
  2. The Heroine’s Journey Intensive.  This is a 16 hours – private story coaching,  two days one – on – one with Peter de Kuster. The price is 5000 excluding VAT including lunch and drinks. You can bring a maximum of three (business) partners to the private tour if you choose to.
  3. The Heroine’s Journey Impact.  This is a 24 hours – private story coaching,  three days one – on – one with Peter de Kuster.  The price is 7500 excluding VAT including lunch and drinks. You can bring a maximum of three (business) partners to the private tour if you choose to.

Please note the private tours Short and Powerful can take place in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Berlin, Barcelona, Bruxelles, Florence, London, Malaga, Madrid, Milan, München, Paris, Rome, Rotterdam, Sevilla and Venice at the moment.

The private tours Intensive and the private tours Impact are offered in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Berlin, Barcelona, Bruxelles, Copenhagen, Florence, London, Los Angeles, Malaga, Madrid, Melbourne, Milan, München, New York, Oslo, Paris, Rome, Rotterdam, Sevilla, SydneyVenice and Vienna.

You can book Peter by mailing him at 

Booking Information

  • Once you have purchased a private tour you will be given information to get in touch and arrange a date and time for your private tour.
  • Private tours will take place at any given day of the week.  The private tour will take place in a story rich city.
  • Please note that once your appointment time and date have been confirmed, we have a forty-eight hour cancellation policy. Any cancellations less than 48 hours prior to an appointment, or any no-shows will be charged. Any requests to reschedule less than 48 hours prior to an appointment, cannot be guaranteed and the original appointment will be charged for other than in exceptional circumstances.

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