The Heroine’s Journey of Catarina Castanheira

What is the best thing that I love about my work? The best thing that I love about my work is that I have the chance to create new products or even other worlds with my imagination, where I can express my own feelings and translate my own vision into some creation that is palpable and also affordable for other persons. I love the freedom that the creative process gives you and the possibility that you can work with different materials, techniques and create an amazing piece of art or even a design product in so many various ways.

What is my idea of happiness? My idea of happiness is when you can work and achieve your income through your own passions; when you feel loved and supported by your loved ones; when you have the chance to travel and discover the world, using that amazing experiences to be inspired in your creative work and to open your mind to be more empathetic and flexible with the feelings of the other human beings; when you feel grateful about your own life and feel in peace with your own self; when you can enjoy good moments in the middle of the nature.

What is my greatest fear? I have a lot of fears inside of me for sure, but I think my greatest fear it’s to lose my inner child, my own dreams or my romantic perception of life to the rules of our society and become a “robot” just to feel more inserted or integrated in this big picture.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? The trait that I most deplore in myself is that I’m an insecure person and sometimes I listen more the opinion of others than my own insights just to please them.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? I admire I lot of people in the artistic field so it’s hard to enumerate so many people at once. In the fashion field I love John Galliano’s mindset and aesthetic, also the designer duo Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida that it stands behind the Marques’Almeida brand and the fashion and textile designer Constança Entrudo. I love their work and they inspire me a lot to create original designs and also to explore and play with different textile techniques. The great contemporary fashion designer Iris Van Herpen, makes me see art in fashion in a lovely symphony too, almost like a contemporary dance.

What is my greatest extravagance? I think my greatest extravagance is to have the necessity to sing all the time when I’m alone. I actually enjoy the loneliness, because I can be free, have a great time with myself and hang out with my friend “music”.

On what occasion would I lie? In my opinion, is really natural to lie among the human beings in different occasions, especially when they are frightened or scared, but I don’t like to lie! I think it’s not the point in life at all and we should be honest to ourselves and to other people. Honesty, for me, is one of the most important principles to be a person with a good character.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? The thing that I dislike the most in my work is when I’m feeling a little bit lost or with a lot of doubts during the creative process. In the meantime, I usually feel frustrated and I don’t know how to deal with this feeling so well. On the other hand, I also know these doubts are usually good to rethink and improve the project until the point that we really feel comfortable and proud of the final results.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? The happiest moment in my work was last year. I was feeling adventurous and I decided to go to a new country to make an internship. I applied to a lot of international brands and I received really positive reactions about my work, what made me feel really happy and grateful. In the end, I made an internship in a sustainable fashion brand called Hellen Van Rees. I had the chance to explore a lot of different techniques and materials to make sustainable garments. I also developed a project that until now is one of my favorites, called (RE) TELL THE STORY, where I turned plastic into new textile samples, ready to be used in innovative fashion products.

If I could, what would I change about myself? What I believe that I could change in my person and I’m trying to work towards that is being less preoccupied about everything and enjoy more the moment. I would like to be more confident, believe more in myself and be less scared to expose myself to other people.

What is my greatest achievement in work? The greatest achievement in work is seeing that it can reach other people and also make a difference in society. For example, if you create sustainable designs you are trying to change how the industry works and try to break patterns, implementing a circular economy what creates a better future for new generations.

Where would I most like to live? I would love to live somewhere in Italy nearby the sea, but I also would love to live in such an amazing city as Barcelona, full of art everywhere with incredible buildings and museums or also in my beautiful and sweet city, Lisbon.

What is my most treasured possession? I think my treasured possession is a scarf that my late grandmother offered me before she passed away. I love that scarf, because of the pattern that you can see in the fabric with an  Indian embroidery with tones of metallized light grey and black. It is a piece that have a lot of mean for me.

What is my most marked characteristic? For me my most marked characteristic is my perseverance. I can face a lot of challenges to conquer something, but in the end, I always try to fight back and achieve what I was committed to do in the first place.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? Currently I’m living in Enschede in the Netherlands, but my origin city is Lisbon. At this point I’m missing a lot my roots, so I’m going to reply as I was there again. I love a point of view in my city called Miradoura da Graça. It’s really beautiful and you have an extremely wonderful panoramic view to Castelo de S. Jorge and to the river called Rio Tejo, where you can sit, enjoy an amazing sunset and chat with your friends in the meantime. Lovely if you also have a sketch book with you, where you can draw some ideas and write down some feelings and inspirational thoughts.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? In Lisbon my favorite place to eat is in Algés in a mexican restaurant called La Fiesta and to drink, of course, is always really nice to go out with friends in Cais do Sodré or Bairro Alto. In the Netherlands I specially love to eat at home, because me and my boyfriend love to cook together and we love to try new recipes from all over the world. To drink, België is a lovely bar, where you can experiment a lot of different beers.

What books influenced my life and how? The books that influenced my life are: Captains of the Sands by Jorge Amado and the classic romance Jane Eyre by Emily Brontë. These two books are great references in my life, because they both have such a strong and powerful plot. Furthermore, the characters of which book are resilient and persevering, showing the capacity to win challenges and to still enjoy life, be happy and make the best out of it. These two books are really different from each other. The first one is a novel describing the social problems from Bahia, a Brazilian state. We can considerate it as an authors’ self-conscience related with delinquent orphans that were abandoned from young ages, originating a gang full of little thieves. In the end, is just a way of romanticizing the actions of these young kids. In detail, you can also observe a message of hope what can be immersive inspiring. The second one is a classic romance describing the British mindset from XIX century. In my opinion, Jane Eyre is an archetype of an empowerment woman that fights for her rights, intelligent and full of fire and passion inside of her. It’s a novel that is full of struggling, hard facts, different experiences and scenarios with a touch of mysticism what makes it really sophisticated and intriguing. I want to be this warrior woman like Jane Eyre, thus is a role model!

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? I’m really passionate about music, one of my favorite activities in one daily basis is listening to music, because of that I think I would love to hear a playlist from my favorite female singers/groups. Among these stand out Cynthia Luz, Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse, Jorja Smith, IAMDDB, Oshun, Aaliyah, Rosalía, Sara Tavares, Akua Naru, AMUARA, H.E.R, Erykah Badu and so on…

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? My fictional heroine is Tank Girl, character from a comic book series that can also be watched on the big screens, because you have a movie adaption. Nana, a young rock star, is also another fictional character that I love from one my favorite anime shows.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? I believe that my heroes and heroines in real life are all the people that I’m having the pleasure to share my life with. In my opinion, it’s important to give credit to people that are part of our life, so in this case, I can say my family and friends are the best heroes in my life. They are the ones that support me, make me grow, share their personal stories with me and inspire me every day. We have the chance to improve ourselves into better persons together! Companionship is the key for success!

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? The movie that I have to recommend to see once in a lifetime is Vicky Christina Barcelona. I also love other movies like León: The Professional; Black Swan; Girl, interrupted; Kill Bill; Midnight in Paris; Frida; Edward Scissorhands; À bras ouverts; etc…

What role plays art in my life and work? Art for me is everything! Art is what gives me the chance to express myself as a person and all my emotions, wins and losses; is what gives me the boost to continue learning every day and try to improve myself; is what gives me the taste of happiness when I’m capable to create whatever is in my mind and in my imagination; is what gives me capacity to dream and to be free in my own head; is what gives me the power that I need to communicate with other people; is what gives me my individuality as an human being; and essentially art is my passion in life!

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to me? To be honest these words mean a lot to me. I think they should be the life motto of every human being living on Earth and it might be in this way, but for me this sentence means that you have the power in your own hands to shape your life as you want or desire, believing in yourself and being positive about the flow of life. Also, that you are capable to accept and embrace your journey/ experiences, having the power to share those with others to inspire them and make the difference in this world.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My family, my boyfriend and my friends for sure. They are the motive that I keep moving towards my goals and dreams, because they are really supportive and always encourage me to do/ be better; to supplant myself and to always look for better opportunities.

Which people or companies would I like to work with in 2020? The people/ companies that I would love to work with are (not just in this specific year, but more in my lifetime): Margiela, Marques’Almeida, Iris Van Herpen, Constança Entrudo; Borbala; King Kong Magazine; Bethany Williams; Edda Gimes; Galaborovic; Raw Color.

Which people in my profession who can make a real difference in my creative career would I love to meet in 2020?  The artists that I would love to meet in person and that I’m following their work for such a long time are: Moon_mxtr; Carolina Batalha; Cynthia Luz; Rocioart; Ying Gao; Espirro; Josh Blackwell; Jacin Giordano; Krizia Robustella; Nadine Ijewere.

What project, in 2020, am I looking forward to work on? I’m excited because this year I really want to start up my online business/ brand; create my website and logo; be able to create different products; and start to share my work/ideas more often on social media.

Where can you see me or my work in 2020? For now, you can see my work at my LinkedIn page, where I share my portfolio link. I still hope that I will be able to achieve my goals and have my website ready soon to give more visibility to my work.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? These words mean that when you are really passionate about something you should try to do it for living. Transform your passions into your income and you will feel free from society. When you do what you love for a daily basis it’s not an effort, but instead of that becomes a pleasure and a precious time.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? I would love to mention some names of my dearest and talented friends on this list, without making a gender designation. Luís Decian Cardoso, an Electronic Music Composer/Producer; Luís Nunes, a great musician; Mafalda Fialho, an amazing girl, illustrator and fashion designer; Dorien Broenink, a beautiful soul with a creative mind.

How can you contact me? You can contact me via LinkedIn:
My personal e-mail is
And I have a portfolio online with some of my work that you can reach here:

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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