The Heroine’s Journey of Valentina Ciandrini

Valentina Ciandrini photo
What I do:I’m an Italian designer and art director, specialized in branding and packaging design.

Ciandreamy New Identity from ciandreamy on Vimeo.

What is the best thing that I love about my work? I have always been interested in applied arts since I was a child. I created my first brochure at the age of twelve and when I was seventeen, I contributed to the set design of the play “Accidental Death of an Anarchist” by Nobel Prize-winner Dario Fo. I like the creative process and  the concerted search for the solution to a communication or image problem.
What is my idea of happiness? In my opinion happiness is more simply a way of seeing and feeling “at peace” with yourself, that is, you are happy when you can balance your changeable inner world, full of thoughts and feelings, with the external one and in a balanced way concrete characterized by facts, things and people.
What is my greatest fear? Losing my personal freedom.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? As a child I was very shy to the point where I couldn’t look people in the eye. This characteristic of mine has always limited me precluding many experiences and although I have had some successes and I have realized many of my dreams, sometimes I still feel so insecure and never completely satisfied with myself. I always think I could have done more.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? Jessica Walsh (CEO, founder, creative director at &Walsh), Ezio Burani (founder/ creative director / CEO at QNY CREATIVE), Leta Sobierajski and Wade Jeffree (multidisciplinary designers, art directors and founders at Wade and Leta), Federico Landini (brand and type designer at Auge Design), Franko Rosas (visual blogger and graphic designer, partner at École Studio); I can’t list them all. I especially admire creative people who have the courage to follow their passions, always going on, without complaining.
What is my greatest extravagance? I don’t consider myself an extravagant person. Quite the contrary. Perhaps my only extravagance is to collect and wear hats.
On what occasion would I lie? I want to start by saying that I prefer a bad truth to a lie, but I could lie to avoid a big displeasure to other people, for example.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Unfortunately in Italy this kind of job is underestimated. Sometimes customers are more concerned with paying a lower price rather than a good job and can often be many months late setting their bills. This is very frustrating as well as unethical.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? I was very happy at the ASA Group in San Marino, when they started to trust me by letting me participate in the most creative projects despite my young age.
If I could, what would I change about myself? My tendency towards appeasement. I am working hard on myself to replace it with assertiveness.
What is my greatest achievement in work? I received some awards in the field of packaging design, but in my opinion my biggest success was being able to work as a digital nomad doing the things I love most: traveling and graphic design.
Where would I most like to live? Anywhere near the sea and with a liberal atmosphere.
What is my most treasured possession? Myself.
What is my most marked characteristic? I’d say both friendly and farouche, depends.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? My office or the beach especially in winter, but the places that inspires me most are the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? I live in Italy between Rimini and Riccione which are full of places where I love to eat and drink. For example Dalla LellaRainbow SushiNécessaireBar Lento, Civico 26, Sol y Mar and Mad inside the box.
What books influenced my life and how? Siddharta by Hermann Hesse opened my mind at fourteen. Three years later, reading Pirandello I felt understood. Then, La Dame aux CaméliasLe fleurs du mal and L’Éducation sentimentale made me fall in love with Romanticism. Erich Fromm, Bach and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry have entertained so many dull days.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? The Smiths – I Know Its Over, Nick Drake – Pink Moon, Franco Battiato – E ti vengo a cercare and many more.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Erin Brockovich (biographical film directed by Steven Soderbergh) and Daniel Blake (I, Daniel Blake, drama film directed by Ken Loach).
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? All the people who fight against injustice.
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (film written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Michel Gondry).
What role plays art in my life and work? Plays a fundamental role. I couldn’t live without it.
What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to me? We are what we make of ourselves. The person we are today can be the fruit of our childhood experiences, but the person we will become, or who we could be, is exclusively under our control.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My best friend Francesco Moscato.
Which people or companies would I like to work with in 2020? Barilla, Lavazza, Bacardi Limited, Moschino, Moleskine, Ferrero, Illycaffè,, Crocs, Carpisa.
Which people in my profession who can make a real difference in my creative career would i love to meet in 2020? I am a self-taught person, so I would like to finally meet a mentor.
What project, in 2020, am I looking forward to work on? I’m finally publishing my book: Writing e Street Art: origini, evoluzione e futuro tra arte, comunicazione e graphic design.
Where can you see me or my work in 2020? 
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? By cultivating the passion of the heart, one’s dream will not only give meaning to one’s existence, but will give it eternal youth, since a true passion, not induced, but spontaneous, never ages, since it never dies.
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?


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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