I purchased this book a few years ago at a time when just the cover price on the hardback release was a stretch in my wallet. But I got it because the people profiled in it were creative, adventurous, modern and resourceful. In short, I admired them, their lifestyle choices and I wanted some semblance of a "gypset" life for myself. Gypset is a term combining gypsy with jet-set in a fusion of high and low culture. It may sound a little trite but it's an accurate description for an otherwise indescribable lifestyle choice made by many inspiring creative people today.
Unlike the author, I didn't grow up in this sort of boho environment. I discovered it slowly over my adolescent, college, and emerging adulthood years. But here I sit, at this cafe this morning in New Orleans. Just a few short years after buying this book, flipping through catalogs and books and magazines for inspiration as I sketch designs for Anthropologie, just 5 days before I leave for a trip to South Africa with a creative and dear friend. I live in a modern treehouse in the woods an hour out of the city, which I loan to fellow artists who need respite and rent out when I'm traveling. I have a cute cornerstore showroom in the city with a landlady who is so supportive she houses and feeds me when my schedule is too busy for my own family. She and her dogs, cats, chickens and our neighbors make even my workplace feel like a home. I just spent a month in her care while making new artwork to show on my website and at Jazz Fest last week. Those 40 paintings were almost all snatched up by collectors within days of their release. After Africa I will land in L.A. for a brief working stay where I will use inspiration gathered on safari for a new body of work. Its times like these that I cant quite believe this is my life. The life I always wanted. A girl from Metairie. It doesn't come so easily or naturally. I still have anxiety when buying a plane ticket, packing my bags for a trip. I experience self-doubt. I have guilt when asking for help or sharing my plans with others who I know will stay home but want to go, see, do. I still run out of money and have to go into the bank and explain. But I try to do it with a smile. With a knowing glimmer in my eye, with the energy of flying in the face of your fears, self-doubt and anxiety that surely comes with trying to live an unconventional life. A life that may inspire others. I recently heard that the supreme success is to inspire others. The people in this book inspired me. I am certainly a believer today in the law of attraction. Surround yourself with the things you want, attract them to you with goodness in your heart. And certainly, they will become true when you are ready and not a moment before. And if you have done so with a purity and benevolence of spirit, your success in achieving your goals will never detract from the success of others, only lift them up. Hold fast to your dreams. No one can defend them but you.