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An Artist's POV on  the Poetics of Coffeeshops

An Artist's POV on the Poetics of Coffeeshops

Coffeeshops have long served as sanctuaries for creativity, offering more than just a caffeine fix. For artists like Andre Chan, these "third spaces" are pivotal not only for their practical amenities but for the intangible energies that foster inspiration and community.

“Third spaces widen my imagination especially when there is an interplay of different energies”


The Role of Coffeeshops in Creativity

"For me, it's primarily the fuel—coffee," says Andre, acknowledging the universal creative elixir. But beyond that, he says it's the energy of the space that amplifies the entire experience of creating. “Third spaces widen my imagination especially when there is an interplay of different energies” He explains how the dynamic environment of a coffeeshop, where people mingle, work, and unwind, fuels his imagination. “I think that’s why I don’t stay at home to work. I want to see the energy flow of humans as this is one of my motivations as an artist.”

In a coffeeshop, the ambient noise, the smell of freshly pulled coffees, and the sight of other people engaged in various activities create a unique atmosphere that stimulates creativity. There's something about the hum of a coffeeshop that makes it easier to focus,  Andre explains. “The background chatter and clinking of cups become a kind of white noise that helps me concentrate."


On Finding Home in Legazpi, Makati

Reflecting on his journey from outside Metro Manila, Andre shares, "Legazpi feels safe—it's a word I often hear here." Safety, he notes, is crucial for creativity: "When you feel secure, you express more authentically." Local creatives played a pivotal role in his growth, providing a supportive community where authenticity thrives. "Expressing authentically attracts the right connections and filters out unnecessary energies," he adds, "though you always need to stay vigilant!"

Legazpi's vibrant art scene and welcoming community have provided Andre with a sense of belonging and inspiration. "The people here are open-minded and supportive," he says. "It's easier to take risks and experiment with new ideas when you know there's a community that appreciates and encourages creativity."

Coffee and the Art Scene

Andre succinctly sums up coffee's role in art with two words: Experience and Utility. "Coffee isn't just a drink; it shapes perceptions," he explains. "It's fuel that wakes me up, widens my perspective, and fuels my creativity." The coffee community, he believes, offers more than beverages—it provides a shared experience that sparks creativity among the youth.

"Coffeeshops are where ideas are born," Andre notes. He emphasizes the importance of these interactions in shaping his artistic vision. "Every conversation, every encounter adds a new layer to my work.” 

“Coffee exists. Coffee as data. Coffee as taste. Coffee as Etc. and that creates perception. Thus, INPUT.”

In essence, for Andre Chan and many creatives like him, coffeeshops transcend their role as mere refreshment spots. They are vibrant hubs where the alchemy of caffeine, community, and creativity converges, fueling artistic expression and nurturing a sense of belonging. The blend of sensory experiences—taste, smell, sound, and sight—creates a fertile ground for artistic inspiration.

As an artist, Andre values the subtle yet profound influence of these spaces on his creative process. "I view coffee shops as government agencies, akin to city halls, where a diverse range of people, ages, and demographics converge. This variety fuels my creativity”

“Coffee punches my head and opens my eyes so WIDE. “

Andre Chan has several upcoming exhibits. Catch him this July 5-7, he will be participating in MoCAF Manila in collaboration with Guava Sketches. 

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