Our lives are dominated by commerce. We must work to live, some live to work and others just get by. So it isn’t surprising that in this day in age, there are lots of people, like you and I, who work on our art during our lunch hour, a few moments on the commuter train and a little bit of time on the weekends between looking after children or spending time with family.
Being a full time bohemian, can be hard. Of course, some people do still live that lifestyle, full-time; they are the lucky ones who have gained financial support to allow for that lifestyle either from a patron or through their earnings.
We have such a romantic view of bohemianism, a rose tinted one that has been pushed through the pages of literature via the streets of Paris, the velvet curtains and the chaise longue that one writes poetry on whilst the stomach rumbles on cheap red wine. Sounds wonderful yes but it wasn’t all like that unfortunately. Of course if you were and are lucky enough to earn money from your art, then fabulous but the thought of the bohemian is often the nomad, the wanderer, the café dweller, the drunken soul on the floor in a Fitzrovia pub biting ankles (that was Dylan Thomas if you curiosity caught you).
History shows us such fabulous characters, their experiments in art went above and beyond a brush stroke but they became art themselves, developing into eccentric characters and showing their unconventional life in the way of their style – they were living and breathing art. To them they were rejecting all conventional ways of life, living life on the edge of society or better still creating their own society with two fingers up to the bourgeoisie.
My reasoning behind the creation of Patchouli Press was to create a platform for those of us who may live the bohemian life between jobs and busy lives. I created it for those who may create full-time too. If Patchouli Press was a brick and mortar building it would be a Parisian Cafe or the Chelsea Hotel in New York. I want to create something wonderful and artful in such a frightening and unpredictable world, a place to be filled with inspiration, the confidence to submit your work and somewhere you can get lost in the literature that we publish. We hope you stay with us as our little empire grows.
La Vie Bohème!
Photograph: Sam Shepard and Patti Smith Chelsea Hotel, New York, 1971
Copyright ©Gerard Malanga