The Heroine’s Journey of Carla Traini

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

Probably the fact that I can collaborate with people from diverse cultures and work on projects with a variety of communication problems: I end up learning a lot every day.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?

Having the freedom of choosing what seems right to me.

Being able to envision possibilities and being able to take one of them when I feel ready.

Freedom and autonomy are essential to me.

What is my greatest fear?

One is losing the freedom I was mentioning right before and feeling impotent in front of a situation where I see the escape, but I cannot reach it.

The other greatest fear is losing my mind: not being able to trust my brain.
Mental illness is my ultimate fear.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

I learnt to love myself and accept also the things I don’t like. And it has been difficult, so for now I am not going to open the Pandora’s box.

Which living person in my profession do I most admire?

Probably Stefan Sagmeister: he is a master of graphic design to me, at the same level of Bruno Munari or Ditier Rams. They all have been capable of elevating the reflection around design from a purely visual level, to a very conceptual and ethical discipline. Adding a deep meaning to what is visible and easy to notice.

What is my greatest extravagance?

I am an extrovert personality but I can spend a crazy amount of time alone and feeling very good about that.

On what occasion would I lie?

Honesty is the most important value to me: I look for it in others as well as in myself.

Nevertheless, I can lie to protect someone I care for.

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


I know that money is what moves the world, but making designs in order to help companies make money is becoming more difficult to me and against my values and beliefs.

I would prefer to put humans at the first priority vs. businesses. I would like to design products and services that are useful to consumers, products and services that are really bringing a positive change to their life conditions.

When and where was I the happiest in my work?

Probably when I was still in Italy, my native country. The first agency I worked for was very dynamic and I was able to learn so many things that my brain could literally not stop thinking. This has been the most formative period of my life.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

I would love to be able to choose faster: I am definitely a Libra!

I am very confused and always very slow in deciding what is best for me. I end up waiting too long or, even worse, let faith decide for me.

I am working hard on this point.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

Having moved to another country and having managed to learn a new language, a new visual culture, a new way to approach design, while still staying true to myself and fighting for what I believe it’s right.

Where would I most like to live?

In a place where there is nature, sun and light!

Those three components have such a great impact on my mental state, that I cannot ignore them.

What is my treasured possession?

I would say the recipes of my mum: when I left Italy I had the chance to ask her the ones I loved the most. Turned out those are fantastic memories of my parents, now that they are no longer with me.

What is my most market characteristic?

The wish to change what I don’t like, in me and in the others.

And fight to act on the world I live in, to make it closer to the ideal world I have in my mind.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

Difficult to say, Paris is inspiring in many ways, but I tend to stir up my creativity and inspiration when I have to find ways to fit into a place that does not seem comfortable in the beginning. I like being challenged and create my way into situations.

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

Anything on the riverside.

What book influenced my life and how?

Oh many books have had an importance influence

When I started working in a bookshop during high school I started reading books for children and I felt in love with Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster, probably the most romantic love story for young adults.
When I became a designer, every single book by Bruno Munari was contributing to create my critical vision around design and my curiosity around humans.

Then Marc Augé and Alain de Botton contributed in adding pieces to the castle of relativity of life and culture and Giuseppe Catozzella with ‘Don’t tell me you’re afraid’ taught me what perseverance is, through the story of an amazing woman that never stopped wanting to change her world.

Who are my favorite writers?

Well, when it comes to fiction, then I HAVE to mention Irène Némirovsky: her way of describing things is amazingly captivating and she can hold our attention during the whole book, by just describing the preparation of a dancing party.

Other writers I like a lot are Erri de Luca, a lot of great words here and Scerbacenco when it comes to thrillers.

You only die once. What music would I listen on my last day?

The one of the leaves in a day of soft wind in front of the sea.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

Not big names, but people who are able to challenge me, to open my mind in directions I would not have explored by myself. People who are able to question my way of being, for the better.

People who move the society in a direction of more humanity, love and respect for what we have.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?

Girl, by Lukas Dhont. This movie will unfortunately not win any Oscar even though it should deserve one. The story of the protagonist is intense and the way the movie is shot is absolutely delicate while being extremely focused on the Girl. Respecting her, revealing her contradictions.

What role plays art in my life and work?

I prefer to talk rather about creativity than art.

I think you understand I like challenges and creativity is one of them to me. A perpetual research of solutions, ways in, ideas, experimentation.


Is creativity a challenge or a solution to solve challenges?

Right now it is written as that creativity is a challenge.

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

My parents! They have been difficult to convince sometimes, but when I was coming back with results, they have been always very supportive.

Who would I like to work with in 2019/2020?

I see a career shift for me in 2020, all around social innovation and design thinking applied to change and improve other people’s lives.
If you are in this business, let’s connect!

Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2019/2020?

The ones in the universe of my answer on the previous question and specifically David Kelley and Tim Brown.

What project in 2019/2020 I am looking forward to work on?

Something that can mix design thinking, different cultures, education, meaning and sustainability/circular economy.

What do the words ‘Passion never retires’ mean to me?

Oh là là plenty of things!
Passion is an illness some people have and that cannot be healed.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

Paula Sher, Jessica Walsh, Simona Sajeva.

How can you contact me?

On my website
Via mail at
On linkedIn as Carla Traini.

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.


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    You are a creative leader or creative professional  who is interested in developing yourself, your business, and your story.

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    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.

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    You want to learn more about how to resource yourself, learn about blind spots, and get feedback.

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    You are curious and want to engage in online learning.

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    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).


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.

individual coaching for leaders


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 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.

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