The Heroine’s Journey of Cristina Palapa Barragán

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

Feeling proud of my art and let my creativity flow from talent. When I transform an idea into an image that transmit something to others. For me that way of connecting with others through a work of art is very special, it is an emotional language where I can express an experience of a certain subject and the spectators interpret the artwork according to their perception. That power to raise awareness and generate reflection, or even inspire other people to learn from art is the most valuable thing for me.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?

For me, happiness means feeling good even when there is no perfection, whether in the personal, social, family, spiritual or work environment. Value what you have, what you have been achieved, being satisfied with the effort that you make to get what you want or where you want to be, focus on enjoying the road instead of stressing thinking about the remoteness of the goal, being able to see each unfavorable situation as a way to learn and improve, give up what does not make us happy and focus on growing. Sometimes it is difficult, but I think that once you have this perspective, you can hardly be unhappy.

What is my greatest fear?

I am in a moment of my life in which I have already overcome my worst fears, from the death of a loved one, to giving up a “safe future” (easy and conventional) to jump into the void hoping to dedicate myself to what I am passionate about, without knowing how to do it. For this I had to overcome criticism, judgments and expectations that were a great barrier to my personal and professional.

But perhaps the worst fear I overcame was to face myself and my internal conflicts, see inside me to accept myself as I was and not as others or I wanted to be, that is the act of greatest courage that I have ever had so far, to truly know me, recognize me and from there make the necessary decisions to change drastically my life to have a future that made me feel full without any regrets.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

I am very distracted, which often makes me lose focus and feel overwhelmed when I am working on several projects. So when I come to feel this way, I work at a very slow rhythm and I have to stop to rest and organize all the pending and also attend the other areas of my life.

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire?

The truth is that I started my artistic profession with little knowledge of art history and therefore, I still do not know many artists, however, along the way I have had the fortune to learn from some Mexican artists that I admire and who have also introduced me to the work of other contemporary artists. In this sense, those who in particular have impacted and inspired me with their works and who were a guide on my way to wanting to do something like them, such is the case of the sculptor Ron Mueck, the painter Roberto Ferri, the photographer Lee Jeffries , and other artists such as Dirk Dzimirsky, Miriam Escofet, Marissa Oosterlee, Jesús Inglés Canalejo, among others. Each of them has a style that has helped me to know mine, they are not only realistic or hyperrealistic, but they coincide in my ideals in terms of themes, technique, composition, expression of the characters and their way of approaching the work .

What is my greatest extravagance?

Perhaps my main peculiarity as an artist is creativity, a quality that I like very much and to which I have dedicated years of study as a psychologist. I think that this trait as an artist has allowed me to be daring in the themes that I express and in how I approach them, without fear of causing disgust, I prefer to capture real or imaginary characters or circumstances where emotion predominates over superficiality or aesthetics, always with dominance of the technique but regardless of whether it is liked by the majority or if someone is going to buy it.

On what occasion would I lie?

On issues that are uncomfortable for me depending on the context, I would rather not answer or answer halfway, even lie instead of being rude.

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

Economic instability at the beginning of the artistic career, it is difficult to handle this, especially if you leave your previous work to devote yourself completely to art, because there is no guide on how to become a well paid artist or a good artist (which is not necessary the same). So, at the beginning, while I found how to make my way, I went through moments of despair and discouragement. Although now that art has become my profession and I have achieved a slightly more stable income, I have realized that you have to go through all this to have the determination and sufficient confidence to be someone good enough to be able to go very far and live from it, it may take longer than other professions but it is totally worth it.

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

When I create an artwork. I find the whole creative process fascinating, but in particular while I am drawing or painting in my workspace. It is a very intimate moment between the canvas, the materials and me, it is like an exchange of energy in which I am leaving a part of me in something that did not exist before, it is a kind of trance that give me peace and I enjoy it very much.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

With everything I learned in life so far, I have realized that nothing. Fortunately, I have the ability to seek constantly to improve myself, which is something very different to change. All my “good” and “bad” characteristics make me what I am, and that is key in my artistic work, honestly expressing who I am and for that I must accept myself completely.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

Being a teacher for me is one of the greatest achievements that I have had, because it implies having overcome several social and personal barriers to make artworks worthy of being admired and with a domain such that there are people who want to learn from me. I really enjoy transmitting knowledge, knowing that there are people who may not be dedicated to art but have enough interest to learn it, as well as being able to help people improve their skills and talents.

Where would I most like to live?

I really like Mexico, it is a country of cultural and natural richness, however, in the future I would like to live in any place where art is truly appreciated, not the reputation of the artist or for fashion, but in somewhere that value the contemporary artistic talent.

What is my most treasured possession?

My conscience, that internal aspect that allows me to realize what happens outside and inside me, of my abilities and limits, of what I like and what I don’t; that part of me that allows me to knowing and developing myself in the world in the best way I can do, and that allows me to express my talent in an original way.

What is my most marked characteristic?

I am very sensitive, in a matter of perception and emotion, that has helped me to see the beauty in everything. Appreciating the colors, textures, smells, flavors, makes me live life with intensity and enjoy things that people commonly are not give them importance, such as the sensation of the air in the skin, the emotion behind the crying of a child, the change in the lighting in the spaces, the effect of the distribution of the objects, etc. It is something that perhaps is not obvious to people who do not know me, it’s an internal characteristic that has helped me to appreciate the world in a special way and express these feelings in my artworks by exalting the sensations in the message I want to convey.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

The museums undoubtedly, fortunately there are many in Mexico, with fixed and temporary exhibitions. For me they are spiritual temples, which regardless of whether I visit them alone or accompanied is a great experience that in addition to being recreational is educational. I usually analyze in detail the colors, the technique, the strokes, the composition, with all this I get rich of ideas and knowledge that later I approach my way to create my own proposals.

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

For me it is not so much about where but with whom, so wherever I can hang out with my loved ones, his company is the one that fills me and I enjoy even more than the food, and the entire experience.

What books influenced my life and how?

The little prince was a novel that transmitted to me wisdom about life in a very simple way when I was a teenager.

More recently, in adulthood, “The artist’s way of Julia Cameron was a book that helped me to know myself as an artist, to recover and to trust myself to be able to dedicate myself to art, to explore my creativity without fear, to dare to live enriching experiences. Without a doubt, it marks my life by feeling understood and guided in a way of life for which society does not help much.

Who are my favorite writers?

I honestly don’t know much about literature, although I do enjoy reading mainly novels. In this sense, for now my favorite writers are Stephen King, Milan Kundera, Mario Benedetti and George Orwell.

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

A playlist of songs that remind me good times, I could not miss classic rock, rock & roll and some trova.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

When I was little I loved to see Xena the warrior princess, I think she is the heroine that I have the most in mind because I grew up with that character and as a child she made a greater impression on me than the heroines I met at other stages of my life. I also liked to watch Robin Hood, however, I could identify more with Xena for being a woman and I loved it because she did not fulfill the typical feminine role in all the movies I saw.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

I have a hero who is no longer with me in life, but I knew him the necessary time to inspire me and ignite in me a spark of passion for art… my uncle Miguel, the only artist I met personally before knowing that I would be the same. I also had the fortune of being raised with him the first years of my life and although I do not have so many memories of it, I am sure he taught me perhaps without wanting his way of living and enjoying life. For me it was amazing to grow up with an uncle like that, who turned everything into art and play, he transmitted to me the infinite happiness that comes from dedicating himself to what he wanted despite the economic and social difficulties. He still is my greatest inspiration.

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

La La Land! Personally, it was a film that made me reflect on the value of dedicating myself to what I am passionate about, it made me realize that I could never know how far I had gone in art unless I had the courage to dare to live it, even if that required more effort and start from scratch. I think that although this film is related to art, anyone can identify with pursuing their passion whatever it is.

What role plays art in my life and work?

Art is already part of me and defines me as a person, I am proud to have made the decision to became an artist despite having studied a master’s degree in educational psychology, because it is a passion that I could not continue to deny and that I can complement with my formal studies.

I take a strange path to get to art, an indirect way by being a selftaught artist. Now I understand that being a psychologist helps me to be a better artist, that despite not dedicating myself to what psychologists commonly do, I continue helping people discover themselves through art, I can contribute a lot to the world by teaching art and developing artistic talents, and I like to think that this is my life mission.

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

My family. When I made the decision to move away from psychology to be a full-time artist, they were very surprised and I think they were also afraid that after so many years of study, suddenly one day I decided to change all that for something that was nothing insurance. Fortunately, we all adapted to that change over time, because for me there was no turning back and I let them know, so they had no choice but to support me. As I moved forward, I felt more secure and happy about it and they noticed it, so I think that gave them peace of mind. I certainly could not have achieved all that in this period without their support, patience and love.

Whom would I like to work with in 2020?

I had never thought about that, I guess because I usually work alone and enjoy that loneliness, so I couldn’t name someone.

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

I would like to meet the artists I mentioned before, the ones who inspired me and made me realize that the path I wanted to take in art was directed towards hyperrealism. But in general I think it is good to meet any artist, even if he or she is not famous, for me it is very enriching to meet like-minded people in this field with their own projects, goals, trajectories and ideologies about art.

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

I am already working on developing more workshops because I would like to teach another technique and also give some course of artistic creativity to exploit what I learned in the master’s degree and foster a skill that is very superficially explored in art education.

In addition I also want to produce more original artworks for a future individual exhibition

Where can you see me or my work in 2020?

In my social networks Facebook (@cristinapb.artist) and Instagram (@cristinapb.artwork) you can find me as Cristina Palapa Barragán, there I share my works, the elaboration process of each one, the workshops that I teach and the projects that arise during the year.

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

For me, passion is the essential part of every person and that is why even if you refuse to it or hide it, you can never leave it, or it can never leave you. It is the main engine that moves us in life, so it is our responsibility to find it and be faithful to it, because it is what allows us to transcend ourselves and contribute with something to others.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? 
Fernanda Olivares

Sarahi Ramirez

Odette Tapia Waller

Gerardine Cipriani

Brianda Zareth Buitron

Daniela Negrete

How can you contact me?


Facebook: Cristina Palapa Barragán (@cristinapb.artist)

Instagram: Cristina Palapa (@cristinapb.artwork)

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