The Heroine’s Journey of Marilena Vita

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

The sense of freedom, of creative joy but also the opportunity to travel, meet people and have the possibility to encounter other cultures.

Il senso di libertà, di gioia creativa ma anche l’opportunità di viaggiare, conoscere molte persone e avere la possibilità di un confronto con altre culture.

What is my idea of happiness?

I am happy when everything around me is in balance while my creative idea generates chaos

Sono felice quando attorno a me tutto è in equilibrio mentre la mia idea creativa genera il caos.

What is my greatest fear?

Finding myself at the end of a road that leads to a dark sea and not knowing how to fly.

Trovarmi alla fine di una strada che porta in un mare scuro e non saper volare.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

Trusting people that don’t deserve it

Dare fiducia a persone che non la meritano.

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire?

I admire people that know how to fight for their ideals, on equal terms, with pride, respect and those that, don’t know envy

Ammiro le persone che sanno lottare per i propri ideali, ad armi pari, con fierezza, rispetto, e che non conoscono l’invidia.

What is my greatest extravagance?

Wearing clothes that I make, both during my performances but sometimes even in everyday life

Indossare abiti che realizzo io, sia durante le mie performance ma a volte anche nella vita di tutti i giorni.

On what occasion would I lie?

I would lie only to avoid an evil bigger than if I said the tuth

Mentirei solo per evitare un male più grande che se dicessi la verita.

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

When someone asks me the meaning of any of my work.

Quando qualcuno mi chiede il significato delle mie opere.

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

When I exhibited in Cape Town during the week of Italian culture in South Africa. I was proud to represent Italy.

Quando a Cape Town ho esposto durante la settimana della cultura italiana in Sud Africa. Ero orgogliosa di rappresentare l’Italia.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

I would change my way of approaching others, because sometimes my good manners are mistaken for weakness.

Cambierei il mio modo di approccio con gli altri, perché a volte si scambia la mia educazione per debolezza.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

When in 2008 I ran a workshop with young women of the Saharawi people in the Algerian desert and in the end they painted the sea despite never having seen it.

Where would I most like to live?

I really like living in the countryside, and it’s the right place to create my works. But immediately afterwards I feel the need to travel and meet many people.

Vivere in campagna mi piace molto, ed è il posto giusto per creare le mie opere. Ma subito dopo sento l’esigenza di viaggiare e incontrare molta gente.

What is my most treasured possession?

Life, freedom, nature and the people I love in my life.

La vita, la libertà, la natura e gli affetti.

What is my most marked characteristic?

Willfulness, perseverance and courage.

La caparbietà, la perseveranza e il coraggio.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

I live in the countryside but when I have time I love walking on the seafront in Syracuse on the island of Ortigia between the Fonte Aretusa and the large port.

Io vivo in campagna ma quando ho tempo amo passeggiare sul lungomare a Siracusa nell’isola di Ortigia tra la Fonte Aretusa e il porto grande.

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

There are many places to eat and drink in my city, in summer I prefer to eat good fish with sea views and good music.

Ci sono molti posti in cui mangiare e bere nella mia città, io prediligo in estate mangiare del buon pesce con vista mare e buona musica.

What books influenced my life and how?

I have read many interesting books, of art literature, poetry, philosophy etc. but I want to mention a small book on Fernando Pessoa “A trunk full of people” by Antonio Tabucchi. A book that describes a magical space where you can be someone else without ceasing to be yourself. And I realized that I had already found it.

Ho letto molti libri interessanti, di arte letteratura, poesia, filosofia ecc. ma voglio citare un piccolo libro su Fernando Pessoa “Un baule pieno di gente” di Antonio Tabucchi. Un libro che descrive uno spazio magico dove si può essere qualcun altro  senza cessare di essere se stesso. E mi resi conto che io lo avevo già trovato.

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

I hope to have the time to listen “Al chiaro di luna” by Ludwig van Beethoven

Spero di avere il tempo necessario per ascoltare “Al chiaro di luna” di Ludwig van Beethoven.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

A woman, Pentesilea, the queen of the Amazons

Una donna, Pentesilea, la regina delle amazzoni

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

All people who have ideals, who perform actions in favor of society with great talent and extraordinary courage, who know how to choose good over evil.

Tutte le persone che hanno degli ideali, che compiono azioni a favore della società

con grande talento e straordinario coraggio, che sanno scegliere il bene al posto del male.

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

Braveheart – Cuore impavido, di Mel Gibson

Braveheart by Mel Gibson

What role does art play in my life and work?

I believe that art was already part of my life, I only discovered it and fell in love with it.

I express myself, live and think through this dimension. Each one of my works, be it photography, painting, video, or performance starts from an intellectual exploration which only later becomes a visual form.

Ritengo che l’arte faceva già parte della mia vita, io l’ho solo scoperta e me ne sono innamorata. Mi esprimo, vivo e penso attraverso questa dimensione.

Ogni mia opera sia fotografia, pittura, video, o performance, parte da una ricerca ragionata che solo in un secondo momento diventa forma visiva.

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

I would tell my life story if it could serve as an example to help others and myself to grow spiritually. I try to do it through my works, my daily actions, words and my way of relating to others.

Racconterei la storia della mia vita se potesse servire come esempio per aiutare gli altri e me stessa per crescere spiritualmente. Cerco di farlo attraverso le mie opere, le mie azioni quotidiane, le parole e il mio modo di rapportarmi agli altri.

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

Aside from my family, I have many people who appreciate my work, who believe in me as a person and as an artist.

A parte la mia famiglia, ho molte persone che apprezzano il mio lavoro, che credono in me come persona e come artista.

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

I’d like to work with institutions that have an interest in the contemporary as an extension of past art. I would be interested in creating a series of performance art for the Uffizi galleries, but also for the Pompidou in Paris, the Tate in London, the New Museum in New York, the Centro Pecci in Prato.

Mi piacerebbe lavorare con istituzioni museali che abbiano un interesse per la contemporaneità come prolungamento dell’arte passata. Sarei interessata a realizzare una serie di performance art per le gallerie degli Uffizi, ma anche per il Pompidou a Parigi, la Tate di Londra, il New Museum a New York, Il Centro Pecci a Prato.

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

During my working life I met many interesting people with whom I worked, critics, curators, intellectuals, musicians, visual artists and each of them left me with something that enriched my experience and expanded my views.

Among the people I would like to know because I consider them highly professional and experienced: Nicholas Serota, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Sheikha Hoor Al-Qasimi and in Italy the gallery owner Massimo De Carlo.

Durante la mia vita lavorativa ho incontrato molte persone interessanti con cui ho lavorato, critici, curatori, intellettuali, musicisti, artisti visivi e ognuno di loro mi ha lasciato qualcosa che ha arricchito la mia esperienza e ampliato le mie vedute.

Tra le persone che mi piacerebbe conoscere perché reputo di alta professionalità ed esperienza: Nicholas Serota, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Sheikha Hoor Al-Qasimi e in Italia il gallerista Massimo De Carlo.

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

I am working on a series of projects including a performance to be staged in Venice and of which at the moment I cannot reveal anything else.

I’m also working on a project that will be part of the museum collection dedicated to Joseph Beuys in Bolognano in Abruzzo by Lucrezia De Domizio Durini.

For 2021 I hope to start an international project curated by me, where institutions, galleries and artists from all over the world will be involved.

Sto lavorando a una serie di progetti tra cui una performance da mettere in scena a Venezia e di cui al momento non posso rivelare altro.

Sto anche lavorando all’opera che farà parte della collezione del museo dedicato a Joseph Beuys a Bolognano in Abruzzo a cura di Lucrezia De Domizio Durini.

Per il 2021 mi auguro che possa partire un progetto internazionale curato da me, dove saranno coinvolte istituzioni, gallerie e artisti da ogni parte del mondo.

Where can you see me or my work in 2020?

All future dates of both exhibitions, performances and projects will be published on my website or on my Facebook page.

Tutte le prossime date sia di esposizioni che di azioni performative o progetti saranno pubblicate sul mio sito o sulla mia pagina facebook.

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

The word passion immediately brings me back to the idea of creative suffering, a feeling of great intensity that affects a person in a powerful and indiscriminate way. I live it as a concept of freedom and fierce emotion but also as an eternal creative joy. La parola passione mi riporta subito all’idea di sofferenza creativa, un sentimento di grande intensità che investe una persona in modo violento e indiscriminato. Io la vivo come concetto di libertà e di emozione violenta ma anche come gioia creativa eterna.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? 

I would like to bring to your attention two heroines, one that I respect a lot and has my own surname, Enza Vita, writer and journalist who lives in Australia. And Ilaria Bonacossa, art critic and event curator, that I have had the opportunity to appreciate both as an artist and as a person.

Ti segnalo due eroine, una donna che stimo molto ed ha il mio stesso cognome, Enza Vita, scrittrice editore e giornalista che vive in Australia e che recentemente ha pubblicato un libro. Inoltre Ilaria Bonacossa, critico d’arte e curatrice di eventi, che ho avuto modo di apprezzare sia come studiosa che come persona.

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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