Finding a balance between free-spiritedness and destitution
- Spend little. The true bohemian knows what they really need can’t be bought. When you do spend, buy paint brushes and copies of secondhand classics.
- Dream a lot. Dreams are free. Everything needs to be dreamt up before it becomes real. Don’t limit what you want or what you can be.
- Live to produce your art. Dreams are great, but make sure you work to make them real. Make what comes naturally to you – write poems, novels or songs, illustrate, or sew clothes and accessories.
- Create for the sake of creating. Even if you can’t sell it, if you made it, you have given something to the world. Give your creations to others.
- Work only as much you need to. Bohemians never have stable jobs, but cost of living now makes being a bum harder than ever. If you have to work, which you probably do, look up creative blogs when you do have to be at a computer – and also make sure you at least find a job that won’t make you work all the hours under the sun.
- Have no fixed place of residence. Again, this probably isn’t that viable. But if you do end up homeless or sofa hopping, embrace it as true, authentic bohemian living. Then go on spareroom.co.uk and make sure you have a safe place to keep your iPad during the day when you go off to your 9.00am – 8.30pm job in the city.
- Ignore established norms that inhibit your free spirit. Quit your job. Escape the rat race. Travel the world.
- Shun consumerism. Cut your own hair, make your own clothes, fix your own clothes and pick your own flowers. Be an active producer – not just a passive consumer. Give, don’t just take.
- Go secondhand. You can’t buy ‘boho’, you can only make it (or find it in a vintage shop if it first was sold well over 20 years ago and the owner has likely passed away since then).
- Think freely. Be openminded. Do different things. Don’t conform. Speak to someone on the tube. Scary.
- Appreciate great work. Read the classics, memorise poetry and recite it drunkenly at parties to avoid making new friends, go to art galleries, and sometimes just be still and enjoy nature.
- Love freely. Care for others. See past difference. See that we are all the same.
- Follow your heart. Put yourself out there. Let others know how much you care.
- Trust in fate. Try to avoid negative mind-sets that tell you you’ve done the wrong thing or you’re in the wrong place. Embrace change as the first step of something new.
- Look a little weird but also arty. Bohemians wear floaty clothes. Particularly whites, browns and blue. Throw some items with unusual patterns in there. A stain or two will also do.
- Make bohemian friends. Look for people with the same anti-materialist values. Try and make friends with someone who sleeps on a mattress on the floor. They’re obviously the freespirited bohemian individual you’re after whose lifestyle you can absorb by osmosis. Or a crack addict.
- Have adventures. See where the night takes you. Be open to opportunities. Speak to people you wouldn’t normally speak to. Go out with people you wouldn’t normally go out with. Take a few drugs here and there. That usually helps.
- Wear jewellery. Especially rings. Wear those little rings that sit on the ends of your fingers so they fall off every time you leave the house. Replace them frequently. Bohemia isn’t about practicality, it’s about freedom of expression.
- Travel. You need inspiration for your art. See the world.
- Don’t settle down early. Have multiple relationships. Have multiple relationships at once. When you get caught and possibly castrated, explain you needed inspiration for your art.
Being a bohemian is creating your own life, and goes hand in hand with creativity of all kinds. Get inspiration for making the most of your creativity, or explore further why being a hippy is the only logical life choice you can make.
Jessica is an aspiring novelist living in London. She teaches yoga, is an excellent baker and is excited by new experiences. Visit Jess’s yoga blog.