Book Review: IN THE COMPANY OF WOMEN
As I'm sure you can relate, recently I've had a difficult time finding my "purpose". It seems all I know for certain is..
(a) I'm a graduate of two programs, (b) My passion for creativity will always be my driving force, (c) I strive to make others feel good about themselves, and (d) I'm NOT afraid to call situations how I see them. I'm just trying to be the best version of myself.
After my final placement day at The Livingroom Community Art Studio, I received this book as a gift.
In The Company of Women
I owe a great deal to everyone who I've met at The Livingroom for teaching me true compassion and mindfulness. Although I could rant endlessly about all the lessons learnt, it's time to address this wonderful book by Grace Bonney.
Within 10 minutes and approximately 15 pages in, tears clouded my sight and I knew this book would be a source of inspiration long after I'd finished it. Normally reading a book's introduction sounds useless and unimportant but if you keep your mind open and concentrated, every word can be used as motivation. Basically the author, Grace Bonney, sought out over 100 women of all cultural backgrounds, ages, and occupations to compile their experiences and adversities into an anthology of talented women across America.
For many reasons this book was an enjoyable read due to it's inclusivity of it's participants. I am confident every reader will relate to a handful of women, women from the LGBTQ+ community, women that are differently abled and women of colour. Not only are their successes mentioned and celebrated but their distress and a struggles were addressed as well. Of all the differences you find between each person, it felt (to me) they had many more in-common. There are 359 pages but don't be too overwhelmed, each person is dedicated about 2-3 pages with short answers to a variety of questions and beautiful photos of their work. Making this style of book an easy read for anyone. There were times when I flip by someone I'd like to know more about, so I'd skip ahead and come back when I'm done.
This book touches a part of my soul so private, so sensitive, so personal because like many of these women, I've been told there is no money in art and to be an artist means to struggle. Reading about their passion, determination and successes ultimately makes me thrive to incorporate art in everything I do. Below I've shared some of the many women that have truely inspired me.
Stylist, Beauty Entrepreneur in New York, NY
You may recognize her, I did from the many hours spent on Pinterest, Linda is iconic for her elegance and style. I've always found older women in the field of beauty and design to be the most inspiring. In a society that values eternal youth, idealistic bodies and luxurious assets it's a relief to see an older women fully embracing herself. On my 22nd birthday I started my anti-aging regimen in fear of getting older and "letting myself go". Although skin care is very important it was the obsession to stay youthful that became overwhelming. I've come to welcome age as a privilege and an opportunity to a stylish daughter, mother and grandmother. We never have to let a part of us go due to age or what others think is appropriate.
"What resources would you recommend to someone starting a creative business?"
"Your own vision and your own imagination." - Linda Robin
Designer, Blogger in Los Angeles, CA
Instantly I felt a connection with Joy. Her journey to find what she's passionate about is one I am experiencing right now. As Joy first started out her involvement with a job was not one she was passion about, it reflected in her work and as a result she was let go from the project. Despite the emotions and self-doubt that came with being fired, Joy was perseverant and continued with projects she was genuinely interested in. When I feel discouraged or disconnected to a task, I 100% acknowledge my disinterest. Of course depending on the circumstances it's important to pursue what one is ultimately passionate about. It's important to accept these interests will fluctuate and change over time, that is how we continuously grow.
"What motivates you to be yourself and do what you love?"
"Ever since becoming a mother, I am mostly motivated by the desire to set an example for my daughters. I want them to see that they have a mom who truly loves what she does." - Joy Cho
"Examine your life and how you want to exist. That way, you can design you business around those things, and you will know when you get there."
"Having patience means being at peace with the time it takes to do something right and to it's fullest."
Tristan is currently reading, The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*uck. So far he loves it and often I ask him to read it out loud to me.
Thank you for reading my first book review, if you enjoyed it or have any suggestions please leave me a comment below. I'd love to hear your thoughts on New York Times bestseller, In The Company Of Women.. or any other book(s) you find inspiring.