What is the best thing that I love about my work? What I love most about my work is how others connect to it. I put my story out there, but really my personal experience is trivial. The details of my narrative are unimportant, beyond that the viewer connects to its fragments. The best thing that I love about my work is when that connection happens and something about what I’ve made resonates with another person and sometimes, if I’m lucky, they share that with me. On a physical level, one of my favorite parts of the process of making my work is putting colors together. The act of mixing paint is supremely satisfying.
What is my idea of perfect happiness? I think perfect happiness comes to me in snippets, often in the moments in between. Great conversation and laughter over an impromptu dinner and drinks with friends and family at the kitchen table, a few minutes watching crashing waves at the beach, getting completely engrossed in a book, catching a genuine smile, silly dancing with my son to a song like crazy in the middle of helping him with homework, that fleeting floating moment on my yoga mat, lying in bed gazing out the window as the warm morning light spills onto the buildings, the cat purrs, the breeze gently blows the curtains, husband is warm and the day isn’t real yet. Transitions can be perfect happiness, to me.
What is my greatest fear? Fear of failure, whatever failure is. Fear of holding back. Fear of not living a meaningful life.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Is anxiety a trait? Overthinking every single thing is a super annoying thing I do.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? There are so many. This might sound like a cop out answer, but I just truly admire everyone working hard at doing what they feel called to do. I do have a special place in my heart for those making it work while taking care of children. Choosing an artist life is hard, being a parent is hard and both take an immense number of unspoken sacrifices. Rewarding as it is, doing both can, at times, feel crushing and I admire those walking that path.
What is my greatest extravagance? My coffee habit.
On what occasion would I lie? It’s hard to say.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Sometimes I’d like to work bigger, faster and freer.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work?I am the happiest in my work right now because I’m confident in my abilities and I’m moving forward. I’m happy because I’m not complacent, because I’m struggling and always unsatisfied, which is a drive to work harder and be better.
If I could, what would I change about myself? I’d sleep more.
What is my greatest achievement in work? I don’t think I’ve reached my greatest achievement yet, at least I hope I haven’t! Perhaps it’s that I do what I want. I just make what I feel like I need to make, and that I haven’t changed what I do based on what others think. I’ve stayed true to myself in my work, if that makes sense.
Where would I most like to live? I’m pretty happy where I live now in Philadelphia, though a bigger house and studio would be nice. If I had the means to live and work comfortably, maybe NYC. I’m a city person, through and through; I’m energized by the sensuality of it. I need to be close to the colors, noises, smells, the people, diversity and culture but close enough to the coast to escape and enjoy the beach every now and then. I guess I’m a coastal elite (kidding).
What is my most treasured possession? Does my cat count as a possession?
What is my most marked characteristic? I think I’m very empathetic and I tend to be an acute observer of nuance. Pragmatic, observational and empathetic might be a few of my most marked characteristics.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? The Cy Twombly Fifty Days at Iliam room at The Philadelphia Museum of Art.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? Anywhere I go with great company! I am partial to neighborhood spots that I can walk to from my house, though.
What books influenced my life and how? The Great Gatsby because of its beautiful, fragile and futile portrayal of the pursuit of the American dream. Everybody is miserable, everybody is searching, nobody is really great and everybody is Old Sport. There’s death, love and a narrator. It’s everything and nothing. And that last line ->> “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
Who are my favorite writers? Right now I’m enjoying Atwood and her MaddAddam series, Aja Monet’s poetry, Naomi Klein, Jeanette Winterson and Chernov’s Hamilton biography.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Mariah Carey’s All I want for Christmas is You, because, let’s face it, it’s the best Christmas song and if you don’t like it (it doesn’t matter if you celebrate Christmas or not!) you’re a monster.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Rachel Morgan, Hermione Granger, Bo Dennis – magical, smart, strong, butt kicking heroines.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? My mom, my grandmothers, my sister. The women who have publicly come forward in response to the Me Too movement and those who have spoken their truth before the national spotlight was on
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? Total Recall.
What role plays art in my life and work? Art IS life and work. Art is stress, sweat, frustration, anticipation, leisure, meditation, joy, family, friends, community, solitude, peace, material, process, income, repetition, novelty, sound, color, rage, love, everything.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My husband. Also an artist, he’s been my greatest supporter, fan, voice of reason and critic for over a decade.
Whom would I like to work with in 2018? I’d like to collaborate with some more politically minded artists working for social change. I’d also love to work collaboratively with a writer or poet; I have done so in the past and enjoyed it very much.
Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2018? I know this isn’t going to happen in 2018, but I’d love to take a workshop with Natalia Fabia. I love her work and it just looks like it would be so much fun to paint with her and then do some yoga together and then be bffs.
What project, in 2018, am I looking forward to work on? I’m excited about my solo show opening later in the year with Paradigm Gallery. I’m deep in the throes of creating a new body of oil paintings and I’m looking forward to seeing all of the work come together.
Where can you see me or my work in 2018? So far I have, as mentioned, my solo show at Paradigm Gallery + Studio opening in June, work in group exhibitions at James Oliver Gallery and The Painted Bride Art Center in March (all three in Philadelphia), I’ll have a piece in the Cat Art Show Los Angeles later this year and other possible group exhibitions are in the works. I also have a new collection of drawings at the LA Art Show with Paradigm Gallery + Studio opening this week, January 10-14th
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? If your work is fulfilling and if you’re innately driven to create, no circumstance can extinguish that.
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? I’d love to hear Ekaterina Popova’s story.
How can you contact me?
Here follows a message of Peter de Kuster, founder of The Heroine’s Journey
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 email@example.com
09.40 Tea & Coffee on arrival
10.00 Morning Session
13.00 Lunch Break
14.00 Afternoon Session
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org