The Heroine’s Journey of Nicole Voltan

What is the best thing that I love about my work? My work is my life, my time, my thought. I love to understand how the world works and art gives me the reason to do it. Art let me the possibility to experiment, to catalog things that I’m interested to, because memory is fleeting and I feel the need to preserve it.

What is my idea of happiness? Happiness is a state of mind, without sadness it doesn’t exist. I love this contradiction. I’m happy when there are changes in things, when I can feel movement of ideas, energies and places around me. Like Einstein said “Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance, you must to keep moving”

What is my greatest fear? I’m afraid of thieves: phantoms who steal memories, men who steal ideas, men who steal time. Yes time most of all, because time is our richest resource.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? I have two different way of being which fight inside me: I am a lonely soul. Sometimes people don’t understand my need spending time alone with myself, time that allow me to work, to think and to develop ideas. At the same time I have this collective aim that forces me to involve other people in my art projects. For this reason I think people get confused..

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? I truly love Thomas Saraceno, for his genius mind, his originality, his irony and his research, that is coherent and anchor to science. I don’t know him personally but he still remains my art master.

What is my greatest extravagance? I like to experiment in art, I have fun with this. I change materials, I try new medias. I dislike to get bored doing the same product in the same way, endlessly. I think that could be the right way to be extravagant.

On what occasion would I lie? I usually don’t like to lie. I always say the truth when someone ask me something and sometimes it’s counterproductive.. But I lie, and even without feeling guilty, when I want to stay at home at work, because sometime people doesn’t understand that artworks for me it’s more fun.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? If I have to do a series of works, sometimes it could became repetitive, most of all in the preparation of the supports. That’s usually boring, but it’s a short phase of the entire artwork. And then, I truly don’t like to fill in forms to participate in public competitions.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? I had a lots of happy moments… the first was when I passed the admission exam at the Academy of Fine Arts, because I though that I had no possibilities. Another one was some years ago when I exposed for the first time at Mucciaccia Contemporary. But usually the everyday happiest moment in my work is when I observe the result of a new experiment and it works!

If I could, what would I change about myself? I like me and I like the way I’m approaching to life, because it brought me where I am now, but there are a lots of flaws I’m working on. Sometimes I feel anxiety and I lose control of my feelings, becoming impulsive, but it happened that, in a certain way, this impulsivity saved my life.

What is my greatest achievement in work? My deepest dream is to remain in history of art, but that’s a huge dream.. however it gives me the strength to make laborious artworks and to continue my research.

Where would I most like to live? That’s a big question. I don’t know yet the answer, I’m still searching. I grow up in a small country town so later I decide to try a big city. After nine years in Rome, I understood that a big city isn’t easy to me. I need to be near nature, but also part of the art community. One day I would like to try to live for a period in
New York city. This could be a great inspiration.

What is my most treasured possession? I’m quite possessive in material things, I try to accumulate everything I need for my future artworks and I have a lots of little objects, little friends sculptures, gifts and stuff like a sort of totems, that I bring with me when I move from a place to another, but if I try to think about this question, I could say…nothing, because I could live also without any of all these things.

What is my most marked characteristic? When I have a clear project in my mind I’m quite determinate and I’m tireless at work. Often I forget to lunch or I realize I’m still working late at night. I forget everything except what I am focusing on.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? The most beautiful part of a city is its parks, but for me the great inspiration is my mountains, the Dolomities. Once you reach the top of one of this mountain you can no longer do without it. You can feel part of Everything. You feel huge but at the same time also very very small. You breath the infinity.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? I like eating both junk food and gourmet, I like food in general. If I have to choose something to eat this evening I would say Chinese and pizza, but usually I prefer to cook by myself, it’s fun and I can choose every ingredient I like.

What books influenced my life and how? My life changed radically when I read Pirandello’s novel “One no one and hundred thousand”. It inspired me, so I started to study psychology, in reading about dreams, Freud, but also Castaneda. Then I had a philosophical phase with one of my favorite philosopher Plato, but I loved also Eraclito. Ten years ago I got into a new phase of reading, I start to learn science with Asimov and physical literature like Brian Greene or Barrow. This became part of my artistic research.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? I have changed a lots of musical genres but only one remains fixed along all these years, that’s the classical. My passion is Turandot of Puccini, I know almost every single word of the entire opera. My favourite aria is “La mamma morta” from Andrea Chenier. Although I listen also rock, new wave and electronic music. My favorite is Ryoji Ikeda, experimental and artistic research in electronic sound.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? I love to watch movies and for me it’s very difficult to choose. Let’s start from the past… Mc Gyver for his ability to solve every problem with recycle materials. Matt Damon in the Martian, for the same reason..maybe also Forrest Gump (I know here maybe someone will laugh..) let’s say every strong man (or woman) that has a big love for life, for himself and others, that brings him to change perspective and adapt to every situation just to survive.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? Every person that has a deep passion, so deep that can be confused with obsession. Every person that refuses something because it’s against his coherence. Every man that knows his purpose and fight to reach it without losing loyalty. Every right, pure and empathic soul.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? There’s a strange, deep, upsetting, provocative film that is a scream to love, inner freedom and self- awareness. Shortbus. Watching it just once in a lifetime maybe is enough, it reach your deepest, hidden part, it break your schemes and reveal your secret taboos.

What role plays art in my life and work? Art is my inspiration, my therapy, my comfort zone, my house, my friend, my love, my hobby, my work, my study, my research, my consciousness, my dream, my aim, my legacy, my truth, my mirror. I am Art and Art is me, as long as I will be able to observe, think, act and talk.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to me? I think we are the creator of our destiny, every choice we make reflects in future, like an action and reaction. For this reason we have to look always forward without forgetting our purpose of life.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? Absolutely my parents. They still are my best sponsor and they always have also the mental power to sustain me. Since I was a child they teach me to have passion and cure in doing everything I do.

Which people or companies would I like to work with in 2020? I would like to work to a project with the artist Carlo Caldara from Milan, with which I found a lot of common points in our methodological approach. I would like to restore the friend-relationship with the artists Cristina Fiore and Andrea Penzo from Venice, with which I have already work in past

Which people in my profession who can make a real difference in my creative career would i love to meet in 2020?  I have to mention again Thomas Saraceno, because without his art probably I never develop some of my ideas. An idea can grow also observing other artists, but still maintaining a personally coherence. I would love to meet also Greg Dunn who is making a great art research of the neurological system and brain. I’m in love also with the artworks of Maya Lin and the performances of Paula Garcia.

What project, in 2020, am I looking forward to work on? I’m working now on a huge project with a strong anthropological aim. I have cataloged all the underground subways of the world, they are more then 250 pieces. The difference between each city is quite evident and doesn’t match to the extension of the city planning. So we can also understand how the economy develops from a city to an other. The project has more forks, from an intricate tangle of colored lines painted on fabric, to an embroidery of each city.

Where can you see me or my work in 2020? 2020 is a year of changes. I can not mention this terrifying virus that stopped a lots of projects and postpone exhibitions, so, for now, everything is unclear. Furthermore I just moved from Rome to Venice so I have to restart my connection here in north Italy. However I have a personal exhibition in program with the support of my art gallery Mucciaccia Contemporary in Rome. They always support my career. In there you can find a lots of artworks of mine

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? Passion is a feeling that couldn’t die, maybe could fall asleep sometimes, but usually someone who feels passion, will die also with passion. I have to think to a phrase that I had always in mind when I had a dark period last year when I was sick, that tells “Mi è caduta la meraviglia” in english this would be like ‘the wonder fell down to the floor” because when you are sad nothing could be beautiful, nothing could be wonder. If you can’t feel wonder, you can’t feel at all. But it’s transitory. It’s like a seed. You can cover a seed with soil, but sooner or later a plant will grow up.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?  There are various artists of which I would like to read their stories: Viola Pantano, Silvia Iorio, Dayana
Montesano, Francesca Romana Pinzari, Federica Luzzi, Donato Piccolo, Kensuke Koike

How can you contact me?
My e-mail is
My web site is

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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