Art that we call coffee: Interview with Rusnė Stankevičiūtė
For some of us coffee is so much more than just a cup of black liquid. For a young, talented barista and an artist Rusnė Stankevičiūtė, coffee is a source of inspiration. Her artwork is filled with coffee beans and hints from barista lifestyle.
Combining the two greatest passions in her life, today Rusnė is working on a dream job. Her first passion – drawing was born with her. Rusnė's mother told her that she learned to draw before she started to speak. Although Rusnė herself, says, that the two-year-old child “Mona Lisa’s” (laughing) does not count, but the dream of connecting life with drawing has grown from this. By the way, at the age of 19, Rusnė got her first tattoo that she draw herself.
Love for the coffee came in the picture some time later, around 2010-2011, when she was still in high school. She went to Sweden in the summer, to take part in a non-coffee-related, month length event where she volunteered for a "coffee shop". After this experience, she fell in love with coffee. Rusnė immediately bought a coffee brewing equipment - her very two first Hario V60 - plastic and red. From the very same red, she made us cup of coffee today. Rusnė volunteered for another two summers at the same event, graduated from high school, entered university, studied photography and graphic art, but the thoughts about coffee never left her.
She came to the world of coffee not like most barista’s, it was not a student job between studies (most of the barista’s in Lithuania are students and work like this), but rather firmly decided, that she needed to try to pursue this dream. So she quit her studies, got a job at the Vero Cafe (Local coffee chain in Lithuania) and then found herself behind the coffee bar.
Two years ago, Rusnė already participated in the National Barista Championship where she did very well - but unfortunately was disqualified due exceeding the time limit. Nevertheless, it was one of the best experiences in her life and it taught her a lot.
While working at the Vero Cafe, the drawing did not disappear. At that time the drawing and coffee was combined, as Rusnė was really into both things. She was following coffee news all over the world, from drinks, trends, to business and found inspiration to her drawing. She got inspiration from everywhere and every bit. And literally - Art of coffee was born.
One of the most memorable projects in Rusnė's life was the “Ego” Coffee Line. In this project, from the very beginning to the very end, Rusnė herself created and implemented coffee packs. Her drawings decorated even 10 new coffee packs, customer feedback was especially good. This project has become a starting point for more visual projects. So Rusnė's hobby and work merged into one.
Another important projects, "Her Excellency" (specialty coffee shop in Vilnius), are the promotional posters of the events, in which all the visual material is created by her - all the drawings, everything related to the coffee. A lot of time was spent, a lot of work was done, but Rusnė never regrets of the effort it takes, because the results speak for themselves.
All of Rusnė's activities are well captured by two more tattoos she made inspired by coffee that she goth them herself. Another of her coffee themed tattoo she draw, got one of her colleagues which was born simply by working at the coffee shop, behind the bar, when there were no clients. Instead of standing and doing nothing.
When she quit university for a job in a coffee shop as a barista, that did not made Rusnė's parents delighted, they reacted a bit skeptical, but today they have already got used to this idea and are very happy with the success of Rusnė and that she does what she loves most!
Make sure to follow Rusnė @stankeviciut!
Main image picture credit: @ryte.saunioji