The Heroine’s Journey of Ilaria Cuccagna

ilaria cuccagna

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

I am a visual artist, I realize sculptures. What I love about my job is freedom. For me, making art represents a territory in which to say what I want, without compromise.

What is my idea of happiness?

To live by my art, feel happy because I am active. Having many dogs, feeling love and being able to travel to discover and get to know.

What is my greatest fear?

Failing to realize anything of my idea of happiness.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

The fear of going beyond my character limits.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?

In professional terms I admire Giuseppe Penone, Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Nicola Samorì, Walfganfg Laib, Magdalena Jetelová and Christiane Löhr. All artists who work with three-dimensionality and on the concept of nature.

What is my greatest extravagance?

I’ve always been nostalgic, ever since I was little.

On what occasion would I lie?

Lying is something I don’t like and rarely do. For better or for worse I think it’s always right to tell the truth.

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

When it is diminished or mortified.

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

When I met people with a sensitivity similar to mine, projects and relationships of mutual esteem were born. This gave a lot of strength to my growth and in those moments I felt that my career was evolving in a decisive way. I am reminded of, for example, the encounter with a French collector, the first who bet on my work to which I will be forever grateful.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

Maybe stubbornness. Physically I would like to have a very developed view and be stronger.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

I hope many will come! For now I consider it a good goal to have started a professional and stable relationship with an Italian gallery.

Where would I most like to live?

There are many places where I would like to live: Iceland, London, Australia, Venice … let’s say that the islands attract me a lot! I’d stop anywhere for a couple of years, but not forever.

What is my most treasured possession?

This is difficult … maybe sensitivity.

What is my most marked characteristic?

The organization. I like not to be taken by surprise for this reason I tend to foresee and organize my activities well in advance and in a slightly obsessive way.

What is my most inspirational location in my city?

Near Como there is a village called Torno. Above the village there is a forest where I love to go to find peace.

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

Urca! I wouldn’t know … loving Japanese food I would say my friend Yoshi’s restaurant (Japanese doc). So Sakura Sushi restaurant.

What books influenced my life and how?

Le cosmicomiche and Il barone rampante, both by Italo Calvino. They taught me that non-compliance and fantasy are the only things that will save you.

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

Boys don’t cry by The Cure.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

Who manages to acquire an infectious peace and serenity.

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

Amarcord by Federico Fellini.

What role plays art in my life and work?

I would say that art is my life and my job.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to me?

That life is the result of the big and small choices that are made every day.

I alone can judge myself and sometimes I do it too severely.

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

With ups and downs, my partner Giorgio Rava. He is also an artist in his field which is design. Our sensitivities and perceptions about what we do are very similar. We support each other.

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

This question puts me in trouble, I don’t have specific names. In general with anyone who can stimulate intellectual and economic growth.

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

Probably some private collectors which, however, by discretion, I avoid mentioning.

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

I have recently started an official collaboration with the Galleria Ramo, in Como. We have many plans in the pipeline, but for superstition I will not reveal them.

Where can you see me or my work in 2020?

On 10 June 2020, the Mendrisio Art Museum in Switzerland reopened after the period of Covid emergency with the exhibition Da ieri a oggi. Linee del contemporaneo in Ticino – La Collezione. One of my sculptural works will be exhibited within this exhibition. Other projects have been posticipated to 2021.

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

For me it means that being an artist is not a job so “retiring” at some point. Being an artist is a vocation and the passion that this vocation brings with you is one with my being.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

One of the people I would have mentioned is the one who invited me, Annika Pettini. Choosing only among women I name: Chiara Enzo, Giorgia Severi and Laura Pugno.

Three Italian visual artists whose work I admire.

How can you contact me?

on instagram: ilaria_cuccagna or through my website:

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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