What is the thing that I love most about my work?
I am an architect, designer and professional photographer, currently the creative director of a design studio in Barcelona. Throughout my career, I have always chosen to be a creator using tools such as geometry, colour, light and composition. Creativity is essentially an open-minded process of research for an answer to a problem. And I find solving problems very fulfilling.
What is my idea of perfect happiness?
Happiness is having the people I love close to me. Perfect happiness is a life with health, love, creation, light.
What is my greatest fear?
I dread being unable to help the people I love or myself. A fair fight is one that can be fought. I am not scared of having to fight. I believe going through difficulties in life makes us stronger, smarter, more interesting in the end. I’m uniquely fearful of an unfair battle, one that I can not win, such as an illness.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?
I grew up deeming innocence until definite proof of guilt. I expect people will treat me the same way I would. Sometimes, this “innocence” results in my getting hurt. I have learned through the years, that to support others, one needs to support oneself first. Nevertheless, I can’t help but expect integrity from people, giving them the benefit of the doubt.
Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?
I admire the work of a large number of designers and architects, but I have no heroes. The ones I admire the most are the young design students I have had the luck to have met as a tutor or mentor. I respect their courage and dedication, their fresh ideas and their eagerness to enter an increasingly competitive environment such as the design world.
What is my greatest extravagance?
I like to travel a lot. It’s my favourite way to learn and get inspired. I visit at least three different countries a year. Thankfully, we now have the luxury of travelling along with our offices, if needed!
On what occasion would I lie?
If by lying, I can avoid hurting someone or if somehow I could serve the greater good.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?
It is an indescribable joy when what you create comes to life, serves its purpose, solves the problem. Working as a designer though is not easy, considering the complications it involves until you establish yourself as an expert. Even then, the communication with the clients is always a challenge. At times, they trust friends, family or social media more than the professional they hired. They insist on overriding the brief and dictate a solution other than the designer’s. In many cases, it results in mistrust and common, boring designs.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work?
Although I love being in Barcelona and spending time at the studio, I am extremely happy when I am able to work off-site. Travelling to a beautiful beach, a tropical forest or a new interesting city while working is an astounding source of inspiration to me. Fortunately for me, technology has enabled our generation to work and connect with each other telematically. Best off-site office time so far: Zanzibar.
If I could, what would I change about myself?
I believe we are all constantly changing by receiving more information, experience and influences daily anyway. Still, I would like to be able to recall more of the things I’ve read throughout the years if I could.
What is my greatest achievement in work?
I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with people who trusted and appreciated my dedication and expertise since the beginning of my career. I have been running Yellow Studio for almost ten years now, and things are looking great. I am proud of what I have achieved here as a woman founder and as an immigrant, with a lot of hard work and dedication.
Where would I most like to live?
I can’t complain. I am just fine where I am, since I have access to all means of transportation, and can go anyplace in the world. My favourite place in the world though is another. I come from a small island in the Cyclades in Greece, called Anafi. One of its mountains is the second largest rock in the Mediterranean, after Gibraltar. On the hilltop, there is a small white chapel, part of a 17th-century monastery. There, one effortlessly realises the vastness and beauty of the universe. Sky and sea become an infinite blue, it’s beautiful.
What is my most treasured possession?
I have one part of a spiral ring that combines with another one identical to it. The other part belongs to my mother. It’s quite hard to live far away from your family. Sometimes, a simple object shortens the distance.
What is my most marked characteristic?
Some say I am a nerd who dreams of a social utopia. I say I am optimistic and hopeful.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city?
What I find exciting about living in Barcelona is the walking distance to the beachfront and its stunning medieval city centre. I cannot say I have a special inspirational place, but I do fancy taking long walks in the afternoon around the city, towards a different endpoint each time. Inspiration can find you anywhere. Enjoying attractive surroundings is a plus. When going out is not possible, the armchair next to the balcony door is a place I enjoy curling up at in search of inspiration. I take a book on my lap and enjoy the view of Jean Nouvelle’s Angbar tower in-between the plants.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?
I’m not a big fan of Spanish cuisine, to be honest, but there are some eateries I enjoy going to because of their authenticity. An example would be “La Plata” at c/Mercé in the city centre. They only serve three dishes, but it is a great experience. For an authentic Uruguayan steak, try “Iguasu” in Barceloneta. For drinks, I recommend cava at the “Xampanyet”, vermouth at a traditional bodega like the “Sopena” in c/Clot, or, one of my favourite places, the “Bar Mariachi” at c/Códols.
What books influenced my life and how?
I’m quite a bookworm. I read everything and anything, from graphic novels to philosophy, art books to novels, poetry to children’s books. As a toddler, my favourite book was one on Greek mythology. It included gorgeous geometric illustrations and is probably the reason why I fell in love with lines, colours and symbols. The first textbook I recall had an impact on me was Z by Vasilis Vasilikos. Another was the Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. And then, of course, Damn good advice by George Lois.
Who are my favourite writers?
My favourite writer is JRR Tolkien. For his unparalleled mastery of language, metaphor building, his vast imagination and an outstanding sense of morality and honour. Language is one of humanity’s first great achievements; an art that is both appealing and functional. No word should mean nothing, as he once said.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen to on my last day?
That’s quite an intriguing question. Although I love music, I think the last sound I want to listen to before I die is rain falling on leaves or waves breaking on the seashore, or a combination of the two. I find these sounds very relaxing and comforting. If it had to be a song, it would be Led Zeppelin’s Ramble On.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?
My favourite fictional character is Sherlock Holmes. A methodical, intelligent person who helps others by solving problems, keeps an open mind, experiments, has a love for science and knowledge.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?
My mother and father are the people I admire more than anyone. She is the most intelligent, capable, hardworking, loving and kind person I know. And he is the most determined, communicative, goal-oriented and participative one.
Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?
Oh! So many. If I had to choose one though, that would be 1984 or V for Vendetta. Not only for being excellent movies but for the message they both convey; be critical, be informed, be as free as you can be, don’t let others decide for you, break the rules when the rules are unjust.
What role plays art in my life and work?
Art is everywhere. It’s an essential expression of human intelligence and spirit. It is what makes us different from other animals. Art and tears. Sometimes a combination of the two.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?
I’d have to say, my partner. He’s the one that keeps me grounded when I become more “artist” that “business owner”. Plus, he shares with me the love for language, history, music and travel. I consider myself very fortunate.
Whom would I like to work with, in 2019/2020?
I would very much love to start working on personal collaboration projects, so the answer would be: with many promising young designers.
Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2019/2020?
George Lois, Paula Scher and Debbie Millman, all for different reasons.
What project am I looking forward to working on in 2019/2020?
I would like to get started on a few new pending projects, a collaborative project I have yet to clarify and keep working on the editorial project (Branding for Writers) I have set up with my partner Vanessa Garduño.
Where can you see me or my work in 2019/2020?
You can see my latest work on Yellow Studio’s website: www.yellowlab.eu.
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?
The word “passion”‘s Greek etymology (Πάθος) is both “something you feel strongly about” and “suffering”. I believe it’s both at the same time. You always suffer in a way for the people or things you love, and that kind of distress is continuous.
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?
How can you contact me?
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org | LinkedIn: Konstantina Gavala | Twitter: @konstantina_gvl
Contact the studio at: email@example.com | LinkedIn | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
Here follows a message of Peter de Kuster, founder of The Heroine’s Journey
Are you a creative leader or creative professional looking to develop your business skills and storytelling?
Amidst today’s uncertainty, it is more important than ever to reconnect with yourself and others, develop your creative business, and build your story. Dive deep into your unique business style and areas for growth with the coaching of Peter de Kuster.
IS THE HEROINE’S JOURNEY COACHING FOR YOU?
You are a creative leader or creative professional who is interested in developing yourself, your business, and your story.
You are aware that there are no quick fixes. Learning is a journey that works when you are fully committed to it. Coaching can bring awareness and help you navigate, but in the end it’s you who is in charge of your growth.
You want to learn more about how to resource yourself, learn about blind spots, and get feedback.
You are curious and want to engage in online learning.
You are motivated to work in-between sessions on yourself (e.g. working on homework assignments that will help you develop new storytelling, skills, and behaviors).
WHAT’S YOUR COACHING QUESTION?
The Heroine’s Journey Coaching is all about your development. To make the most out of your sessions, we ask you to prepare topics to work on with Peter. These topics can serve as a starting point for further in-depth exploration with Peter.
These coaching topics typically resonate with the creative leaders Peter works with:
How can i tell the most powerful story possible about myself and my creative business?
How can I handle self promotion and marketing of my creative business better?
How do can I stay authentic and with focus when having difficult conversations with potential clients?
What are my creative values and how do I align these with my business values?
How can I manage my time and energy better?
How can I radiate confidence to my clients while feeling anxious inside?
How can I steer myself towards creative excellence without becoming rigid?
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 lives 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.
The Heroine’s Journey Coaching online sessions last 50 minutes and the fee is Euro 189 excluding VAT per session. The Heroine’s Journey Coaching is suitable for people at any stage in their career.
Who can sign up for The Heroine’s Journey online coaching?
Creative leaders and creative professionals who wish to improve their business story and develop their business skills and mindset.
Should I choose 1:1 coaching?
Our The Heroine’s Journey experiences in world cities allow you to learn not only from the coach but also from your peers. For the small group coaching (1 – 4 people), we have selected important, relevant topics that we find regularly come up for creative professional: purpose, storytelling, creative confidence, self promotion, time & money and resilience.
If you would prefer to work alone or on a different topic, individual coaching is a better fit for you.
What language do we speak in the coaching sessions?
Can I buy coaching for my organization?
Yes, you can! We support many organizations around the world with their coaching needs. Please contact us for more information.
Can I bring my own topics?
Yes, for individual coaching you get to choose your own topic.
Are coaching sessions confidential?
Yes. Peter will not share anything that is discussed in the coaching sessions.
Where will the coaching sessions take place?
Sessions will take place online (as per the times we live in) via an online tool like Zoom or Skype. Peter will let you know.
How do I sign up?
Send Peter a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to start booking your coaching sessions.
How do I pay?
After you send the mail, you will receive an email with a link to pay.
How do I book and reschedule sessions?
Once we’ve received your payment, Peter will contact you and book your coaching sessions. He will also support you with rescheduling sessions if needed.
What is your cancellation policy?
Individual coaching sessions can be postponed up to one week before the session.