The Heroine’s Journey of Emilia Ruggiero

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

My work makes me feel complete and at peace with myself. When I paint I feel I have my precise place in the world. I feel in harmony with what I am, what I say and what I do. My work gives me energy, hope and enthusiasm.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?

Happiness is about feeling good about yourself. This means that I know myself and I live my life consequently, making my own choices.

What is my greatest fear?

Violence and death. I love life and people so much that the thought of being separated from them destroys me. I am not even ready to think about it. Obviously my family, my son Giosuè and my husband are at the first place. I love my life.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

I have worked so hard on me and my memories, on causes and consequences that I have learned to accept myself … and I think I love myself. I am not perfect but I am not that bad! There is always room for improvement!

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire?

I admire all the honest people who work hard without crying on themselves and live their life fully. There are so many artists and creatives in the world, I cannot just name a few and I do not just look at them. I prefer to draw from everyday life, from human relations, from those who can teach me something in the field. if I have to say one, I think of Marina Abramovic, for her strength, determination and professionalism.

What is my greatest extravagance?

Be Myself

On what occasion would I lie?

I think lying is not that exciting. I prefer the frankness of truth, always disarming, for better or worse.

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

The closed circles, the elite. Art or culture are not shells isolated from the world. Indeed, they should be tools to get closer to people. However, they are often used as attitudes or lifestyle.

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

Everything I have done so far is the result of my work and my determination and for me it is a source of joy and personal pride. I reach my happiness day by day, because I want it to be like this. Even Your attention is a reason to be happy!

If I could, what would I change about myself?

Nothing. I am not perfect but I am my traveling companion, I am learning to love myself as I am. As I always say: perfection is not human but divine!

What is my greatest achievement in work?

My last project have been PugliArtist II (2019), with the Euro-Mediterranean Agency in Lecce, and my personal exhibition ‘A cuor leggero‘ (2018). These have an important step in my career, both as an artist and as an artist curator.

Where would I most like to live?

I love my place. I wish I could have the opportunity (economic above all) to take a big tour around the world. To fill my eyes and my soul with good vibes.

What is my most treasured possession?

My son Giosuè and my husband Cesare. My family. My friends.

What is my most marked characteristic?

Determination and positivity

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

There are so many good realities in my city, as cultural, music, theater and artistic associations. Manifatture Knos, Fondo Verri, Koreja Theater, Castello Volante di Corigliano (Corigliano Flying Castle).

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

Vico dei Sotterranei” is a place in the historical center of Lecce, quiet, away from the crowd where quality of the food is the best characteristic.and It is run by special people.

What books influenced my life and how?

essays and readings on art. I think of the texts of Argan, Adorno, Brandi, Dorfles, Bonami, Gombrich, Riout.

Who are my favorite writers?

I am currently retracing the Mexican revolution through the novels of Pino Cacucci. Isabelle Allende is one of my favourites. Among the Italian writers I love Maria Corti, while among the contemporaries adore Federica Bosco because she is fresh and makes me smile.

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

The Smith – There Is A Light That Never Goes Out

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

Lady Oscar is the protagonist of a 1980s manga anime cartoon, the heroine of the French revolution.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

People who love and believe in the beauty of life and struggle every day for themselves and the others, without violence but with great strength of mind, for dreams and projects and rights.

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

‘Dead poets society’ (1989)

What role plays art in my life and work?

It is Essential. I can not live without it. It is a big part of myself.

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

My partner and my friends, I also mean my sister Raffaella

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

I have no expectations. For me, the most important thing is to work and carry out my research.

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

The big names do not impress me, I prefer to take from direct experience of those who can and want to teach me something and have a human relationship with me.

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

I hope I will manage to do the third edition of PugliArtist, a project that supports young local artists

Where can you see me or my work in 2019/2020?

On 26 December 2019, ‘Woman’, my last exhibition will be open, until 6 January 2020 at the Fondo Verri a Cultural Association in the historic center of Lecce, created and directed by Mauro Marino and Piero Rapanà. A place, a theater, a crossroads, a small rest area dedicated to the local poet Antonio L. Verri.

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

Passion is my friend, my sister, my hope. It’s a real travel companion!

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? 

Francesca Mele (aka Andy Trema) painter; Carmine Antonucci (ArtInside project) painter; Benedetta Spagnuolo (Italian Artists) curator; Ilaria Del Monte painter; Maria Carmen Zirro illustrator; Annalisa Pintucci painter; Paola Bazz artist.

How can you contact me?


phone: +39 3406141256


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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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