The Heroine’s Journey by Alexandra Cook aka Linandara 


What is the best thing that I love about my work? Being my own boss. Every day I can (with various degrees of freedom) decide what direction my art business may take, what in particular I will do now: paint, upload prints online, edit my website, research for future artworks, etc.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? Doing what exites me, most of the time, e.g. creating art, exploring (nature, arts, sciences, history, travel), being with people I love and admire, at the same time gaining income from my work so I can be independent and generous with people I love.

What is my greatest fear? Being paralized by fears and depression.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Easily being paralized by fears and depression.

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? At the moment, it’s a wonderful american artist Bryan Larsen. I like the way he makes fantasy seem absolutely real. And he puts spaceships in his plein air paintings. And his intentions are clear and good.

What is my greatest extravagance? Being one of a kind whatever others think and giving what I love all my heart, no comprises.

On what occasion would I lie? Only to a bad (or administrative, representing a bad law) person in extreme circumstances.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? When I lose the clarity of vision of what I am doing and end up with a mess. I am exited by so many things in life that I often start to persue paths meanig nothing and leading nowhere.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? Every time, when the art I love making is bought and cherished by others.

If I could, what would I change about myself? I hope to achieve and I work towards learning more mastery of art and more resilience toward whatever outside word can throw at me.

What is my greatest achievement in work? I hope they all are still in the future. So far, probably, it was both selling and getting a nice award for a relatively large painting, “Premonition of Winter” at the Nottingham Society of Artists gallery.

Where would I most like to live? Living in a isolated small town now (Newtown, Powys, Wales), I do have a dream of moving to a vibrant city with diverse art scene and many art buyers, for example New York, Sydney or London.

What is my most treasured possession? A cottage in Russia designed and built by my mother, grandmother and uncle where I spent the most happy time of my childhood, and then my kids did too.

What is my most marked characteristic? I hope it is my independence of mind and the ability always be different from the average, also a bit controversial most of the time.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? The view from where I live: a small valley with houses climbing on its sides and fog, clouds and sunlight continously shifting all way around me.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? High Street Delicatessen cafe has got a lot of individuality, good coffee, outdoor “secret garden” and a friendly owner.

What books influenced my life and how? Sorry, I grew up a bookworm, so can’t be brief in this one. 1) “20,000 Leagues under the sea” by Jules Vernes was read to me by my mother and grandmother before I could read myself. A mysterious lonely hero going into the unknown is one of the most powerful images probably to stay with me for the rest of my life. 2) “Aelita” by Aleksei Tolstoi was the first book I’ve read myself. A beautifully written and very “Art Deco” science fiction love story. Mars is beautiful in real life too, and I was happy studying it as a scientist for some years. 3) “Three Musketeers” and “20 Years After” were my favourite books during the first half of school. Friendship, honor, adventures, and a mysterious hero too. Also I loved many books about nature, especially 4) “My Family and Other Animals” by Gerald Durell and “The Spotted Sphinx” by Joy Adams. 5)”The Land of Salt Rocks” by Sat-Okh was the fun base for very advanced culture-making childhood games but also imprinted an image of a “noble savage” which was not useful for living in a technological age. 6) “Les Robinsons du Cosmos” by Francis Carsac was a pure sci-fi adventure delight. Also I was reading as many sci-fi short stories I could find and loved a great many of them. 7) “Monday Begins on Saturday” by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky: The science is magic! Two high school favorites: 8) “Idiot” by F. Dostoyevsky. This was a case of self-discovery as somebody inevitably hyper empathic and very emotional. Which, perhaps derailed me for many years from other things in life… 9) “Master and Margarita” by M. Bulgakov made me a fierce anticommunist and admirer of defiance and creativity – for which I am still grateful. It also presented religion in a nice, fantasy-like way, which was very misleading. At the Uni I was mostly into 10) “Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien. A Brave hero, unknown lands and civilizations, other, “better” and very creative version of humans (elves). I still like both sci-fi and fantasy but think they are at they best when combined in the same story. 11) Later, several books helped me to leave religion “for good” by confirming my growing realisation that faith in supernatural was literally destroying my life: “What is Good?” by A.C. Grayling, “God is not great” by Ch. Hitchens, “The Better Angels of Our Nature” by S. Pinker, “The Closing of the Western Mind” by C. Freeman. I thought I was finally liberated but still personality theories, environmentalism of the new “noble savages” and altruism keept me in limbo. In the autumn of 2016 I’ve read 12) “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand. Reconfirming my love of independent, defiant, creative hero, it also showed me that the hero should not be a slave to his own emotions, or to any crowd telling him to sacrifice his life for them. That freedom, reason, progress and civilization, are The Good, and through them we all are alive and well and can pursue truly creative, rational, independent lives, each being a hero – if we want to. I hope I will read many more great books, and most of them are not even written yet.

Who are my favorite writers? Presently Ayn Rand plus most writers mentioned in the previous question.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Songs by Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull plus my favourite film scores, especially ones by Michael Giacchino, Alexey Rybnikov and John Towner Williams.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? The longest lasting one is Luke Skywalker (since I was 15). Others were, or still are, Captain Nemo, Jane Eyre, Aragorn, Sherlock Holmes, Maeve Millay from Westworld, Prince Myshkin, Yeshua Ha-Notsri from Master and Margarita and Athos.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? I enjoyed studying (to different degrees and on different stages of my life) the biographies and works of Van Gogh, Michael Bulgakov, Ayn Rand, Vladimir Vysotsky, Dostoyevsky, Maxfield Parrish, Zaha Hadid and Christopher Hitchens. Out of living people I can name Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, George Lucas and Bryan Larsen. Also all the heroes and heroines fighting for the freedom of speech and expression as the future of art and civilization depends on them.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? Star Wars. All of them.

What role plays art in my life and work? Enormous. Well, it is my work. Also I often listen to songs, music and podcasts, I watch movies, plays and TV, I constantly discover wonderful paintings, drawings, sculptures, 3D modeling and photography online or, when I can, at exhibitions. There is so much encouragement and inspiration.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My husband, my daughter, my mother and mother-in-law.

Whom would I like to work with in 2018? I recently joined the Arts International Group and I hope to work side by side with many artists from different countries, especially Ivamichka Paneva, Ahmet Ozel, Svetlana Elantseva, Claudio Giulianelli, Evgenia Domareva, Pavlina Kopano, Malcolm Hague and Olga Pimenova-Mueller.

Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2018? There’s a local artist who’s work I often see and admire at exhibitions but haven’t met her yet: Maggie Humphry. Also the objectivist artists with whom we share many values and convictions, about art and life in general: Bryan Larsen, Danny Grant, Quent Cordair.

What project, in 2018, am I looking forward to work on? I want to do series of paintings about modern infrastructure, pillars and powerlines of the civilization which keep us alive and connected: mobile masts, roads, pylons, water towers, etc. They are everywhere but we don’t often notice how beautiful they could be.

Where can you see me or my work in 2018? My work will be at Newtown (Powys, Wales) library all January. I hope to exhibit with the AIG internationally and in Shrewsbury area, UK ( ) also at the Visual Arts Network gallery in Shrewsbury and Newtopia in Newtown.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? I hope to keep in good health so I can work all my life. I can’t comprehend what the world “retirement” even means.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Modern female painters I would recommend: Maggie Humphr y, Susan Abbott, Erin Hanson, Ivamichka Paneva, Svetlana Elantseva, Evgenia Domareva, Pavlina Kopano, Olga Pimenova-Mueller, Sonya Sklaroff, Larisa Aukon, Susannah Bleasby, Eva Magill-Oliver, Taylor Cox, Jess Franks, Liana Steinmetz, Ayna Paisley, Antrese Wood and Louise Camille Fenne.

How can you contact me? Through my Instagram account (Linandara) or many other online places (same brush-name).

Here follows a message of Peter de Kuster, founder of The Heroine’s Journey 

Spring Journey

eatpraylovebigstill (2)Wednesday 14th March – Sunday 18th March

The best of The Heroine’s Journey condensed into a single, unforgettable week.

The Heroine’s Journey is a global organisation dedicated to teaching skills not covered by the regular education system – skills that develop storytelling intelligence and encourage psychological well-being for creative professionals.  The Spring Journey brings together the very best in our storytelling.

We will cover such themes as how to make money doing what you love, how to promote your business, which is you, how to choose our partners more wisely, how to make relationships last, how to find and create your dreamjob by meeting your rolemodels and making testdrives, how to manage your time and organize yourself creativitely, how to focus on our creative goals, how to have the financial freedom to create and how to more regularly experience creative flow and happiness.

You’ll embark on a rich and enlightening voyage, discovering how to make lasting, meaningful change across every aspect of your creative life. By working within a fixed group led by Peter de Kuster over the week, you’ll dive deeper than would be possible in any single daytrip. You’ll be challenged to think deeply about the issues that matter most, and provided with a space to share your thoughts, ideas and experiences.

The Journey is ideal for those seeking a more meaningful, transformative vacation; for attendees of our daytrips who now wish to take a structured journey through our expertly curated material; and for those wishing to save time in the long run by working through the dilemmas of creative life, business, passion, and your own story in a single, high intensity week.

Blending tuition, exercises, meeting with stories of rolemodels, and discussion in journeys in a world city, each day of the Spring Journey will equip you with tools and strategies to help you find answers for your creative life’s big questions.

Join us for a truly transformational vacation for the mind in Rome

Ticket costs Euro 1250 excluding VAT per person, includes all teaching, materials, light refreshments & additional activities.

You can reach Peter for a skype meeting about questions you have by mailing him at 


09.40    Tea & Coffee on arrival

10.00     Morning Session

13.00     Lunch Break

14.00     Afternoon Session

17.00     Drinks

Read on for a detailed breakdown of the Spring Journey itinerary.

“You are the Storyteller of Your Own Creative Life. You can Create Your Own Legend – Or Not” – Peter de Kuster

EatPrayLove1 (2)

Spring Journey Itinerary

Day One: The first day of the Spring Journey is designed to equip us with the core skills of The Heroine’s Journey and Storytelling. We will learn the power of the story we tell ourselves, why our minds have a hard time understanding themselves, how to map and understand our passions, and how and why we characteristically respond to them.

Day Two: The second day of the Spring Journey takes us on a structured journey around the power of your story as creative professional.  Creative flow is always in essence a mental phenomenon, it is a result of ideas- and a story you tell yourself therefore relies on having to hand a raft of enriching stories about your business, your money management, your self promotion and your time management that can be called upon in moments of truth. The day begins with a Heroine’s Journey Breakfast – considering what three of the greatest creative heroines of all time have as story about the art of creative living wisely and well.

Day Three: The third day of the Spring Journey teaches us how to choose our clients and business partners wisely and make our relationships last. One of the gravest errors we make around business relationships is to imagine that they aren’t things we can get wiser or better at. On this day we will learn to practise and rehearse our skills at working with the people who can help you further your creative business (clients and business partners like agents, publishers, marketing professionals etcera). In the evening, we will attend a Storytelling Dinner in a local restaurant – learning to overturn small talk and master the art of opening up our deepest stories.

Day Four: The fourth day of the Spring Journey teaches us how to achieve our creative career potential. We will employ storytelling tools to be better able to understand our creative talents and to move forward using the opportunities that are open to us.

Day Five: The final day of the Spring Journey explores new business opportunities and markets for you to as creative professional. Many of the challenges we encounter in modern life require us to develop creative solutions to complex problems. And even when we’re not tackling big problems, continuously improving the way we live using invention and imaginative strategy is deeply important.

You can reach Peter for a skype meeting about questions you have by mailing him at 



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