The Heroine’s Journey of Gemma Vinciarelli

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

What I love about drawing is not knowing where an idea will take me. The end result is always a mystery to me. I love surprises, infinite possibilities, discoveries. I know where I start, but I don’t know anything about the journey and the arrival.

What is my idea of happiness?

I can tell you today I felt very happy when I put my ear on a tree trunk and heard the sound of leaves moved by the wind. Ask me again tomorrow.

What is my greatest fear?

My fear is that in the end I will forget that it was all just a game. I’m afraid of felling wasted, afraid of not being any use. My greatest fear is that life and art will seem unnecessary to me.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

I don’t like myself when I let fear take over and I don’t follow instinct and heart. Then, doubts and scruples block me and prevent me from diving into the sea. I hate myself when I stare at the waves.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?

I admire passionate and intuitive people who are always one step ahead. People who find solutions in difficult times and turn these difficulties into opportunities. I admire people who don’t give up and give themselves unreservedly, working for tomorrow without ends, calculations or strategies. I admire them in my profession, as well as in life.

What is my greatest extravagance?

I perceive invisible presences. I hear ghosts. Ah, there is even something strange with my body temperature. I am cold in the height of summer and hot in the harsh winter.

On what occasion would I lie?

Sometimes, if it’s needed to protect and not to hurt someone’s feelings.

Always, if I need to tell a more charming story.

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

Drawing is like traveling on a roller coaster, with its ups and downs. There are full and empty periods. Sometimes it’s tough, I don’t hide it. I strongly believe that this aspect is essential, if not necessary. It makes my work alive and never boring. I think there are no really empty and still moments, immobility is only apparent. In the middle of this ride it’s important not to lose sight the vision that guides us.

When and where was I happiest, in my work?

In my eyes and in my mind is still alive the image of me as a young girl, drawing my first comics at the kitchen table. The moment when I understood that I could tell and communicate through drawing is vivid and clear to me. I often think about that emotion and every time I draw I try to find it.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

My haircut looks great on me. I don’t think I’ll change anything in the short.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

I don’t make rankings. Success lies in doing my work well and in the best way. I like finish a work and then move on. I feel it gone, sometimes I don’t feel it mine anymore. I love to immerse myself immediately in a new project.

Where would I most like to live?

Rome is the place where I want to be, it’s the place where all my escape attempts have subsided, at least for now. When I feel like running away again, a house by the sea might be fine. An ordinary house, an ordinary sea.

What is my most treasured possession?

If you come to see me, I’ll show you my collection of two thousand fruit stamps. But you can only see it from my hands.

What is my most marked characteristic?

Tell me a secret, I will watch over it jealously and keep it safe. Your secret will also become mine. One thing is for sure, I won’t betray you.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

I often go for a walk in the Roman ruins. There is everything: the grandeur, the rise, the decline, the fall. I love drawing ruins and I love to draw the tourists who visit them becoming one with the stones.

Senzamare- Vinciarelli acrylic

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

You find me at the Bar dello Sport. I love to relax and have a drink in the beautiful garden among jasmine, palm trees and fountains. Excellent food cooked by a Syrian family. A small piece of Palmira hidden in the hipster Pigneto district.

What book influenced my life and how?

As a child, I used to read and read Tutta Mafalda”, a collection of Quino strips. I recognized myself in that revolutionary, nonconformist child. Even a bit annoying, let’s face it. That book followed me in all removals and in all bookcases. Among the most recent readings, the books of Luciano Bianciardi, a writer from my hometown in Tuscany, have been lessons for me on intellectual independence and anarchy.

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

Classic music. Not a Requiem but an Hallelujah. Otherwise, I’d let the radio choose, to reiterate the randomness of life.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

The Greek heroes, half humans and half gods. They have been capable of incredible deeds and horrible crimes at the same time. I feel empathy with their strength and fragility.

Who are my heroes or heroines in real life?

There’s a lot of the Greek hero in each of us.

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

Even though I love neorealism and nouvelle vague, I can’t help but follow my heart. I grew up with Hitchcock movies, a director who has greatly influenced my imagination and my tastes. You’ve got to watch one of his films at least once in your life. I choose “Rear Window”.

What role plays art in my life and work?

Art is vision, the privileged eye. Art is the filter through which I see and feel my whole life. Work and life are united by this common denominator.

Pet Cemetery- Gemma Vinciarelli charcoal

What do the words “You are the storyteller of your own life” to me?

The certainty that everything depends on me give me comfort and strength. It’s a powerful thing, like a bomb. It should be a commandment believe that all we need is here in our hands. We don’t need anyone else, anything else in the world. Following this commandment is a responsibility we have towards ourselves and to others.

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

My ninety years old aunt. She supports me in difficult times and encourages me. She collects prints and artworks, books, anything that concerns me. She will be happy with this interview.

Which people or companies would I like to work with in 2020?

I would like to work with the most disparate workforce, the most distant from me: artisans, carpenters, bricklayers, decorators, gardeners etc. I wish we could exchange tips and suggestions, knowledge and secrets. It would be great if each of us had the other’s work at heart and took care of it. Regularly, once a month.

Which people in my profession who can make a real difference in my creative career would I love to meet in 2020?

What I missed most in these first months of 2020 are meetings, exchanges and comparisons. Looking people straight in the eye. No, internet is not enough. In the rest of this year I hope to be lucky enough to meet people who make me question myself. Sincere and disinterested people, who lead me look from other perspectives, who put me in difficulty or faced with uncomfortable choices. These people are rare, it’s difficult to spot them as it’s difficult to spot white wolves. So far there have been few. I’m not mentioning, they know.

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

I am currently working on a graphic novel and a travel book. They are projects in collaboration with a screenwriter and a composer. There are many other projects about painting, exhibitions and workshops

Where can you see me or my work in 2020?

In this particular year you can only sail by sight. I hope I’ll go out with the publications soon, then there will certainly be exhibitions. Follow me to find out more.

Questionario di Proust - Vinciarelli collage

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

It’s about that image of me drawing at the kitchen table, among the smells of pastels and tomato sauce. It’s about taste and hunger. I will try to keep this appetite until the last dish of the last dinner.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

A name above all: Beatrice Squitti. A unique artist and collagist. Life and art merge, one begins where the other ends.

How can you contact me?

You can follow my blog:

Or my fb/instagram profiles.



Here’s the Amazon link to “Questionario di Proust”, illustrated with my collages.

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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