The Heroine’s Journey of Nikolina Novosel Nezmah

NIKOLINA NOVOSEL NEZMAH (Amsterdam) -artist, book illustrator, senior mobile game artist

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

Feeling of freedom, releasing fears and doubts and following my inner voice. It’s a wonderful feeling to emerge into an idea that flows. Then work does not feel like work at all. Drawing and painting is even more rewarding than doing digital art. When you can feel the difference in the paper, the pressure of pens, strokes of the brush on the canvas, the smell of oil paint or acrylic. It adds additional value to the experience of creating art.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?

To lie in a grassy hilltop in the Alpes, next to my husband, with my sketchbook. Our cats playing around chasing butterflies as they often do. Warm sunshine on our faces, a wooden house behind our back and a beautiful view of the mountains in front of us. The nice fresh breeze that carries some fluffy clouds over beautiful blues sky, and the sound of bees buzzing on the flowers that surrounds us. La vita e bella

What is my greatest fear?

Fear of death. Not knowing what comes next.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

Lack of self-confidence.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?

With Neil Gaiman, I don’t share a profession, but I like his way of thinking. He said: „I hope you’ll make mistakes. If you’re making mistakes, it means you’re out there doing something. “The whole speech is great, definitely check it out.

I admire all the people who are brave and believe in themselves and do their art everyday weather in drawing, dancing, singing, painting, writing, making amazing cakes…

What is my greatest extravagance?

Probably traveling, I love discovering this beautiful planet that we live on.

On what occasion would I lie?

If it was a matter of life and death than, I would lie

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

I would like that a day could have 48 hours, so I can finish all I am working on and still have time to relax, enjoy, read more, and hang out with my loved ones.

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

When the idea comes, and I feel it will work out great. Then I am very happy and enthusiastic and don’t need to eat or sleep, I forget about everything else and just create.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

I would like to be braver, bolder, and have more confidence to pursue more of my dreams and ideas

What is my greatest achievement in work?

Receiving an award on the exhibition „Biennale of Illustrations “in Zagreb, Croatia. That was the step that led me to meet great people in the publishing industry and start to work as a children’s book illustrator. Today my sixth book is on the way.

Where would I most like to live?

In a tree house on the Velebit mountain (Croatia).

What is my most treasured possession?

My wedding ring from New Zealand.

What is my most marked characteristic?

I am a dreamer. Always jumping on a new cloud and looking forward to great things that come in my life.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

Amsterdam is full of cozy places where you can work, draw, meet people or just hang out and have fun, and it also has some secret gardens if you want to be in a quiet place, alone with your thoughts.

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

Restaurant Mr. Stacks – Tea & Pancakes.

What books influenced my life and how?

“The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, I read it when I was a little girl and then again as a grown-up woman. I comprehended it differently then and now, but I loved it every time I read it. The book is a little jewel that teaches us (or makes us wonder) what is really important in this short adventure that we call life. I also like Paulo Coelho’s “Alchemist”, Marlo Morgans “Mutant message from down under “, Asa Earl Carters „The Education of Little Tree “… they are inspiring stories with beautiful messages that change my life every time I read them.

Who are my favorite writers?

Paulo Coelho, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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

Istvan Sky & Pablo Arellano – Earth Song – A föld èneke

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

Princess Mononoke by Japan’s master animator Hayao Miyazaki.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

My mother, who gave me life and endless love. She was always the one who believed in me, she was my shelter from every storm. I will carry her in my heart forever.

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

SpringSummerFallWinter … and Spring” by Kim Ki-Duk

What role plays art in my life and work?

Well, it represents a food for my soul, and I am lucky to make a living out of it. What more could I want.

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

My dear husband, my great friends and my two cats Everest and Lhotse. They are here to lift me up when it rains and to celebrate all the happy moments with me. And I love them all very much.

Whom would I like to work with in 2020?

I would like to work with some new publishing companies, and art galleries.

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

I would love to meet Shaun Tan, Nicoletta Ceccoli, Jaw Cooper, Oliver Jeffers, Travis Louie, Marco Marzzoni, Marc Ryden… it’s a long list. But also, I am looking forward to meeting all art lovers and collectors so we can share our knowledge and love for art.

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

I am searching for a publishing company that creates e-books for children. I would love to merge my experience of creating mobile games and illustrating children’s books, so I am looking forward to e-books projects.

Also, my illustrations for a new book are almost finished, „Princess and the pea “from Hans Christian Andersen, lovely old story with fresh illustrations will be out in spring.

Where can you see me or my work in 2020?

Hopefully, my drawings and paintings will be in the Art galleries in Amsterdam. Also, on the Internet. You can see my digital art for if you play mobile games on your way to work, 😊 and you can find my books / Illustrations in the bookstores.

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

Passion is the driving force of life. The only way to live fully is to follow the passion in everything we do.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

Rebecca Dautremer, Lois van Baarle (Loish), Marija Tiurina, Martina Lexi , Biljana Safarzik

How can you contact me?

You can send me an email at:

Mob: +31 647113524

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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