Table Talk: Sarah J Stanley on why people want more coffee than they want art
How opening a coffee shop next to her studio helps Stanley get through the day
I’m ten years into a career that takes a long time to pursue, and a lot of energy to maintain belief in. Some of my skills lead to commercial gain, but most don’t immediately, so like most professional artists or musicians, a large chunk of what I have to do is simply endure.
It’s a difficult dichotomy for creative practitioners – you need to pay your rent but you also need a huge amount of time alone in a non-market based environment, like your studio, to make something authentic and sincere. I find coffee to be a great companion to preserving my mental energy only for my actual job: making art and writing music. It provides me with the caffeine I need to pick up the tools of my trade and to make a wee buck on the side to pay for my studio.
People don’t want art like they want caffeine and food, something I’m happy to make use of through running a café next to my studio. Stan’s is situated in a separate front part of my studio property. This way, I get to hang out in either my studio, or a café with great coffee and occasional company, so it works well for right now. My studio is a nonnegotiable essential for all parts of my profession, and so I do what I need to maintain a space that is just mine. If I can manage to do that by making people a coffee alongside mine, I’m happy.
Sarah J Stanley is an artist, musician and owner of Stan’s Studio, Glasgow’s first pay-what-you-want coffee house.