The Heroine’s Journey of Mara G. Szyp

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

The limitless creativity. Knowing that inside my mind theres this almost magical connection between colours, thoughts and feelings… meanings that I give to shapes and that without any need for words…someone out there in this vast planet will see what I created and will feel something!

What is my idea of perfect happiness? 

My idea of perfect happiness is when my head, my body, my heart and soul are in harmony. First and foremost be in a honest relationship with myself. Loving and respecting the person I am. The connection between what I need, what I want and what I do with what I have. Love, passion, the little things in life that mean the world to me.

What is my greatest fear? 

To waste my life in things that don’t matter, to be in my last seconds and realize I didn’t enjoy being alive.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? 

My selfcritic. I guess I could blame it on the appreciation and approval that I didn’t get when I was a child, but in all fairness at this age I know it is more me than anything else. That nagging voice that it is my worst enemy.

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? 

Craig Inzana

What is my greatest extravagance? 

Art. I can’t help it but to want each oil colour! Each size of canvas! Each style of brush!

On what occasion would I lie? 

With the intention of not hurting someone.

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

That due to the fact that I am self-taught I am not being considered as fine art in some organizations, which limits hugely the opportunities to participate in shows.

And … The lack of consistency.

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

Whenever I receive a message from someone saying that one of my paintings took them some happy place in their mind, to a memory or by looking at it gave them peace… I feel we connect and that to me is magical.

If I could, what would I change about myself? 

My self-doubt. I am doing the best that I can with what I know. I imagine that if I were to get to my path in art without having gone through the two cancers I would be in a different space.

What is my greatest achievement in work? 

Getting repeat clients! I love when people who I have never had the pleasure of meeting face to face, trust me to create art pieces for them over and over! Because they believe in me and they love what I have created for them.. I feel like we are connected! I love that!

Where would I most like to live? 


What is my most treasured possession?

Its not a possession for the one thing in my life I adore the most is my therapy companion dog, Diya.

I don’t treasure material things.

What is my most marked characteristic?

My resilience.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? 

Dallas Road. The beach.

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

The Heron!! They make really great food and drinks, they have an amazing selection of local artists that changes constantly and to top it all, they allow dogs! Which is this city it’s almost impossible to find!

What books influenced my life and how?

Veronika decides to die by Paulo Coelho.

I think its sad how many times we give everything we have for granted until we lose it. And then we realize how much we needed it or wanted it or loved it.

Who are my favorite writers?

Paulo Coelho.

What music would I listen on my last day?

Probably the soundtrack of the saga Twilight! Lol

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

My mom. My brother. My Nana Olga. Absolutely.

Which movie would i recommend seeing once in a lifetime? 

8 pounds.

What role plays art in my life and work?

It’s the one thing I do. Everyday

I used to be a business person, I used to work 14 hours daily, I used to be so many things and then I got cancer and I changed. I changed inside and out. And Art is the one thing that came into my life as the biggest lifejacket ever… and it’s the one thing I feel I do well, and the one thing I love and have passion for… and it is the one thing I can feel I can contribute.

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

Of course my family and my partner! But besides them…I would have to say my brother from another mother…Christian Siemens. Someone who truly believes in me and pushes me to keep going even when I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Whom would I like to work with in 2019? 

Craig inzana! Heather Barr & Amy Frank!!!

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

Craig Inzana! Heather Barr and Amy Frank!

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

2019 is almost over so I am already thinking in 2020! I think I would LOVE to be part of the paint In on Moss Street if they ever accept me! I have gone to it since I can remember and being part would be amazing!

Where can you see me or my work in 2019?

There is a local art gallery that have purchased 12 of my pieces, you can DM for more info

Coast Collective Art Gallery always have shows with my pieces in them! They are incredible for emerging artists! And I have a page specially dedicated to keep everyone updated on my website! Under “shows & exhibitions”

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

I am a passionate person by nature, I am sensitive and I feel it all… so I guess there is a lot of me on that phrase… when I see senior people holding hands, when I see a person who has struggled in life still smiling or I see someone who didn’t have it easy being grateful and enjoy the ray of sunshine I believe those things are the reason why is worth to be alive!

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

Amy Frank and Heather Barr!

Craig too but he is a HERO!

How can you contact me?

and of course LinkedIn @ Mara G. Szyp!

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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