The Heroine’s Journey is Maria Parenteau

What is the best thing that I love about my work? The first thing is the oppportunity to express myself to the world. I feel honored to be called artist. I love the sweetness and tenderness of the images, the softness of the lines, the hints of comfort and encouragement. I really like the effects of optical illusion, the hiddden messages and the boldness of ideas.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? I heard that happiness is to have what you don’t have. So that makes calmness and contentment the great factors for perfect happiness. It all starts with gratitude and being able to make the most with what you have and use your resources to bring you where you want to be or where you think happiness resides.

What is my greatest fear? To get stuck in something or somewhere and have no chance to grow from there. My greatest fear is to lose my freedom and lose the taste of enthusiasm.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Sometimes I get into a patient mood with issues that need to be dealt right away. I have this strength to let it be until I cannot go anywhere else before facing it. I don’t like it, but one needs to wait for a certain amount of time and then go, act, and change.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? I admire the unknown artists and the poor ones who live in countries under economic and political turmoil; they still strive to make the ends meet selling the fruits of their talents. That is impressive!

What is my greatest extravagance? Time, we have everything but not time. I consider a week completely free from work and worries, just leasuring somewhere an absolutely great extravagance.

On what occasion would I lie? I would lie to protect myself and others if I need to, but I have discovered the extreme power of telling the truth. It brings so much freedom and releases so much tension. It also works perfectly with your memory: you don’t need to create anything afterwards. It is what it is. The truth is just so absolute and overwhelming; it covers everything.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? I dislike the fact that the images that I create reveals my inner secrets, I even stopped painting for a while just to shield myself; but, when went back to painting, I saw myself portrayed in every artwork. I had to go as abstract as I could to disguise the occasion.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? When I get to these fertile phases and my mind goes to this stage of quiet contemplation, I see myself completely immersed in the creative process. I noticed that I have this need to do crafts with my hands; I need to touch things, to smell, to think deeply about it. I read, I seek, I look, I find. And it can be anywhere in the world: it is inside me that this delicious gush of creativity is birthed and develops.

If I could, what would I change about myself? I would love to change my brain to not be this creative and naive and to become a successful business person: to use my brain to succeed on the business side of the arts. I would love to be more numbers oriented. My thinking is completely abstract … so that it looks like people don’t understand me. I heard long time ago that I was behaving like a four year old. After a long time passed by, the same person told me I was behaving like a five year old. It gave me a little hope that I was finally starting to grow up.

What is my greatest achievement in my work? The greatest achivement for any artist is originality. I have spent countless hours of work studying art, trying to come up with unique ways to use the same techniques, striving to discover new styles that no others thought about before. And, at the end of the day, I understood that my biggest achievement will be portraying my own core and displaying my own essence on the canvas. Looks like the world wants the ingenuousness that the artist has been born with.

Where would I most like to live? I am not sure yet. I want a vibrant city capable of making me dream, nurturing my imagination, and providing me with hundreds of friendly friends and delighting me with beauty. There is a little bit of it in every city that I have visited so far.

What is my inspirational location, in my city? I live in San Diego, CA, among beautiful birds and bathed by sunshine. Most of the days are blue and yellow and there is a breeze that is so calming, so alluring, that it makes you feel like you live in paradise. Every monring I wake up before the sun rises and delight myself with the morning show, the lights, all the pinks, oranges and yellows as they dance in an unforgetable display of beauty and wonder.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? I love Asian cuisine and the Japanese experience of going to Sushi Ota on Mission Bay Drive is my favorite in San Diego. Some times we see successful Mr. Ota right behind the counter having fun with his customers. And, of course, I love going to the hundreds of Mexican restaurants and enjoy their delicous menus on Taco Tuesdays.

What books influenced my life and how? Books had an extreme importance in my upbringing. They are resposible for my sanity. I felt no loneliness when I had books. When I was around 9 years old, a neighbor told me that he was going teach me the love for the books; his reason was as a pay back because my older brother helped him open the doors of knowledge through reading. I learned to read and I learned to treasure that investment.

Who are my favorite writers? I have a gallery of favorites: everyone of them open to me a realm of things. Gabriel Garcia Marques introduced to me the universe of imagination, and Pearl S. Buck introduced the universe of fascination. Robert Greene made me love reality and human beings to the fullest. Caroline Leaf taught me to understand my brain and the list is really big: I am a person with a thristy soul seeking wisdom and understanding is what I love the most. If I understand things, I feel calm. To unveil the unknown of eternity, I studied religions and phylosophy and pursued knowledge diligently. I read to the point of exhaustion. I had to stop when I was around 22 years old because it was hurting me. I was exchanging everything for the solitude of achieving clarity. Then, when I looked around, I was isolated from people and was lonely. I was immensely impressed when I got to know the Bible, a book written by 40 different people in a period of 1600 years and has no contradiction of any kind. That took all my attention. I am fascinated by eternity and completely enchanted with the fact of death … something that we all are going to experience…how intriguing.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? “So will I” from Hillsong, Australia. If I am going to to die, why not start preparing the way to meet The Creator?

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Batman and Robin, ha ha ha

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? Women. They are doing everything for everybody and are not being honored and respected enough. As a human race, we have to learn to show gratitude and give back to women.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? The Notebook, I love love and romance. This movie has beautiful history and had beautiful photography.

What role plays art in my life and work? Art is the propelling force. Once I am an artist to the core, and everything I do and I say and I think is under the fact that I am artist — just an artist — and it is simple like that.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My family and friends are my fans. Some of them really believe and see greatness, some of them just enjoy the colors, and others enjoy the fact that I made them laugh and nothing else. I have no sponsors and I really need to find one. My dream is to be a full time artist and dedicate all my time and life to produce beauty.

Whom would I like to work with in 2020? I love working in cooperation with other artists. I love team work and exchanging. I would love to cooperate with as many artists that I could possibly spend time with — how fun that could be.

Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2020? I would love to meet a group of art lovers and curators interested in collecting my body of work. Where are my people? I want to meet them.

What project, in 2020, am I looking forward to work on? I am very excited to launch my nonprofit,, whose mission is to create an international system of social support for empoverished women and children everywhere by using the arts and the transportation of reusable recycling one women’s trash into another’s treasure. We also are gathering experts and ideas to accomplish projects in needy communities around the world.

Where can you see me or my work in 2020? So far on the internet, I have been receiving so many proposals for shows. I am not sure yet what is going to happen.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? Means that the fire is right here in my heart and will burn to the end.

How can you contact me? At, at 617 460 0528

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

Paula Villanova


Leslie Tiano –

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.


  • tick

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

  • tick

    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.

  • tick

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

  • tick

    You are curious and want to engage in online learning.

  • tick

    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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s