The Heroine’s Journey of Manuela Soriani

What is the best thing that I love about my work? Definitely working in team with other people, on different project. I like to share ideas with colleagues and teammates and build something good, together.

What is my idea of happiness? Keep working with my studio and my artistic collective and being able to bring my personal projects to a level where they can stand on their own and can support us.

What is my greatest fear? Losing people I love.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? I tend to overwhelm other people. I have to keep in check my instinct to control everything!

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? My colleagues first, I love them and I love their work. They’re first my friends, colleagues as a second step. I also admire all of those indie and freelance authors that are able to publish their work and get famous with their own ideas and effort.

What is my greatest extravagance? I’m weirdly friendly with random people, and sometimes they are surprised, or try to second-guess if I have ulterior motives. No, I don’t, it’s just that we’re not used to be nice with each other.

On what occasion would I lie? I am quite famous to be too straightforward, even when I could tell a white lie and have an easier life. Sigh! The few times I tried, they caught me on the spot, so I stopped!

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Corrections and changes are a vital part of each work, but they’re so boring. I especially dislike when a client asks for corrections and changes at the very last minute on something we went over multiple times. I try to deliver in advance, but there’s a kind of clients that seem to be undecided
and goes back-and-forth until they are pressed by their own deadlines. That’s very, very stressful.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? January 2020: we founded Awe Edizioni, an association through which we can print and sell projects by artists I love to work with. This is an accomplishment that required years of planning ahead and hard work to build a fandom and a good reputation of being a trustable team of artists! That, and when one of my clients went from USA all over to Italy just to know me. I confess I cried when he left… but we saw each other again!

If I could, what would I change about myself? I’d like to be less of a control freak, so to speak. And I’d like to be more understanding about the needs of other people. I try to, with… let’s call them “mixed results”.

What is my greatest achievement in work? Being able to build a studio with Mattia (my graphic, husband, secretary – not in order of importance) and Gabriele (my former student-slash-protégé and now a precious colleague). And after that, founding Awe Edizioni, as I mentioned above!

Where would I most like to live? Somewhere near the sea where it’s warm. I live in a place that’s kind of a swamp, with a lot of pollution. I know that clashes with the stereotype of Italy being the “land of the sun”. We have a lot of great places, but also bleak areas.

What is my most treasured possession? In spirit, my family (friends and cats included). Physically, all of my technology, source of both work and fun.

What is my most marked characteristic? I have a kind of character that, as I mentioned above, tends to overwhelm people, from time to time. This is a double-edged sword: sometimes it can be of help because I can be strong in front of all the let-downs this kind of job throws at you. Some other time, however, makes me look more aggressive than I really am. I hide my insecurities, yes, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have more than a few.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? I live in a small town, where there’s not much to see. So… the fact we have internet connection counts?

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? I just order home-delivery pizza and eat at home on Friday nights!

What books influenced my life and how? I really like fiction, and I read very few non-fiction (that’s my husband’s thing). I can’t name a single book from the top of my head, but I read a lot of novels in many genres: fantasy, sci-fi, thrillers… they all have done their part in building my ability to imagine scenes.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? A big medley of a lot of different genres, I cant’ bring myself to only like one kind of music.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? I don’t think I have one. I like complex characters that have to face not-so-obvious challenges, the ones that are not usually called “heroes”.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? Every single person able to take care of someone else. I lost both of my parents at different times, both because of different, terrible diseases, and I had people who helped me to bear this horrible load.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? Just one? The Matrix is an absolute masterpiece, and a landmark in the way western culture does movies. You can say that about Blade Runner, too.

What role plays art in my life and work? It’s more or less everything. To me, everything is art and potential material to be studied. The packaging of my shampoo, a sunset, a TV series: everything is potentially art, to me.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to me? To have control over your choices. Which means that other people can give me their points of view and opinions, but they also have to respect what I decided about myself.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? I can’t just name a single person, it’s impossible and it would not be fair towards all the people that help me when things get rough. I think no artist has just a single, most important fan. It takes a village to raise an artist.

Which people or companies would I like to work with in 2020? I’d really like to branch out with cross-media projects. Maybe Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. One
can dream, right?

Which people in my profession who can make a real difference in my creative career would i love to meet in 2020?  I don’t have any names in particular in my mind at the moment… but I could use some financial backing to expand Awe Edizioni’s scope. So, if you’re willing to invest in a mix of experienced and new artists with a vision, call me!

What project, in 2020, am I looking forward to work on? I’m working on “Oro”, a story about love and art. It’s about a young Italian comic artist that faces the hardships of starting a job in the industry and, at the same time, a difficult love with his mentor.

Where can you see me or my work in 2020? Of course, comic book conventions are a big no-no in 2020 in Italy, but as soon as we’ll be safe again Awe Edizioni and I will be there to meet everyone! But you can knock at the door of this Facebook group and you’ll be welcome:
From time to time I do live streams (in Italian) on Facebook through Awe’s page:
You can read Samsara, my biggest personal work at the moment, here (warning: NSFW contents!):
And you can get some extras by subscribing here:

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? Art, for many artist, is a necessity. You can pause, even for a long time, but you’ll get back to it. If you do this job, it’s because you have something to say. We artists also rarely actually retire… we, almost literally, die with our pencils and brushes in our hands. As long as we breathe, we have something to say, in words or images.

How can you contact me? Just send me an e-mail (English or Italian, please): I prefer e-mails above everything else because they allow me time to answer in a proper way and check with all of my team about how we can be of help!

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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