Tuesday, 17 February 2015


Gladdening Nourishment

by Madisyn Taylor

Giving yourself permission to be silly will nourish your creativity and is a good exercise in letting go.

Children appreciate all that is silly as a matter of course. Their grasp of humor is instinctual, and even the smallest absurdities provoke joyous gales of earnest laughter. As we age, this innate ability to see the value of silliness can diminish. Work takes precedence over play, and we have less incentive to exercise our imaginative minds by focusing on what is humorous. When we remember childhood, we may recall the pleasures of donning funny costumes, reciting nonsense poems, making up strange games, or playing pretend. This unabashed silliness nourished our vitality and creativity.  We can take in this nourishment once again by giving ourselves permission to lighten up and be silly.

Too often we reject the wonderful silliness that is an inherent, inborn aspect of the self because we believe that it serves no purpose or is at odds with the grown-up culture of maturity. We play yet we do not lose ourselves in play, and our imaginations are never truly given free reign because we regard the products of irrational creativity as being valueless. Yet silliness itself does indeed constitute a vital part of human existence on a myriad of levels. Our first taste of ethereal bliss is often a consequence of our willingness to dabble in what we deem outrageous, nonsensical, or absurd. We delight in ridiculousness not only because laughter is intrinsically pleasurable, but also because it serves as a reminder that existence itself is fun. Skipping, doodling, and singing funny songs are no less entertaining than they were when we were children. We need not lose all interest in these cheerful and amusing activities, but to make them a part of our lives we must be ready to sacrifice a little dignity and a lot of fear.

It is precisely because so much of life is inescapably serious that silliness should be regarded as a priority. Through the magic of imagination, you can be or become anything—a photographer, a professional athlete, a dancer, a pilot. Whether you take hundreds of silly pictures, revel in the adulation of your fans as you make the winning catch, boogie down rock-star style in front of your bedroom mirror, or turn your desk into a cockpit, the ensuing hilarity will help you see that lighthearted fun and adulthood are not at all incompatible.

So why not be silly and play dollies for a bit?

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Sam says: "Spoofs are fun" enjoy life watching these silly apron commercials

Massive Attack projects: "Sam says enjoy life!"

Thanks to my great friend Alex Nightingale and 3D of Massive Attack this SAMazing, SAMtastic, SAMshing sign was projected during Massive Attack's Mexican concert.

You can see it on the Massive Attack facebook page:


Friday, 5 December 2014

Sam's Vision exhibition

Centre Collage /Portrait of Sam by Kate Bentley
Centre bottom Mother and child painted on wood by Lisa Billson

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Sam says enjoy life scrap book made for the Sam's Vision exhibition

Sam says enjoy life scrap book made for the Sam's Vision exhibition

Put together and Designed by Hayley Cantor

Monday, 24 November 2014

Fun Fashion video

Fun fashion video shot by Sam Archer and her husband Patrice Fayet behind the scenes of the fashion shows in 1997/1998 - Edited by Pol Lopez:


How Sam says enjoy life started and where it is now

As most of you probably know, after Sam & Ruby Rose's departure from this world, our family set up a charity called Sam and Ruby. We wanted to help underprivileged children in the Pnang Na region, where Sam and Ruby were taken by the Tsunami.

At first we raised lots of money, thanks to generous friends of Sam in the fashion industry where she had worked. These friends organised auctions of reputed photographers’ work of Kate Moss and other models that Sam had looked after as a model booker.

But then, as we all know, people forget and move on to different causes.

It took me a long time to accept that Sam was gone,  and I realise now I had lost the plot for a while with my denial. But eventually I realised that if we didn’t think of new and orignal ways of raising money,  we would have to fold the charity.

I thought about Sam and her passions. For example: cooking, travelling, entertaining….I spoke to
Sarah Murray, Sam's best friend,  and we thought of making a cook book or a travel book. I spoke to friends in NY and we brainstormed ideas: creating a perfume, underwear…..

But none of these ideas seemed feasible. None of them felt right.

I knew I had to do something with what Sam had left behind. I went on remembering and turning ideas over.

Sam loved filming everything. I finally plucked up the courage to view  all her home videos that Patrice her husband had given me. What really hit me was that she really enjoyed life and how her dog Lucien le chien was one of the biggest loves of her life.

I began by editing the first little film as a homage to Sam. Then I thought:  what if I tried to find an artist to create a cartoon character inspired by Sam and her dog? You know, like Charlie Brown and Snoopy,  or Dennis the Menace and his loyal friend Gnasher the dog. 

The name ‘Sam Says Enjoy Life’ came about by tinkering with the name of the all-time game we all played as kids: Simon Says.

I started by asking my father who had been an artist agent & my Uncle Eddie who runs an artist agency in Amsterdam. Several of Eddie's artistes kindly drew their interpretations. But somehow nothing seemed to be right. Over the next several  years I tried lots of  ideas. I approached
A young T-shirt artist, I photoshopped photographs & added funny catch phrases. My friend the Catalan artist Benjami Tous and I worked on a calendar. But none of it worked.

And then I found just the right design in an unexpected place: a little cake shop in Barcelona then called Lolita's Bakery.  I loved the very retro1950´s look, and I loved the pinup style logo of their business card. That was Sam’s style:  sexy, busty, curvy, "a real woman kind of look" – sorry to the skinny model girls present!. I found out that Victoria, one of the owners, had designed the logo herself. I told her about my project.  Would she try and design something for me?  She kindly agreed. 

And  then I came up with the idea of creating a patch with the Sam Says Enjoy Life logo, and having them sewn onto tea towels, aprons and shopping bags. This worked:  it was art mixed with sustainability:  useful very British present, not too expensive cloth bags as an alternative to the unecological plastic carrier

All I needed now was to find somebody to make them.

By this time the financial crisis was bitting. As well as commemorating Sam I wanted to do something  that would contribute to the community. Two local charities in Barcelona, where I live,  fitted the bill.
One teaches a trade to women who have been in prison, including dressmaking. They made part of the merchandise for me. The other is a charity that supports the aged and underprivileged by running a day centre and feeding people. They raise their money from a second-hand shop. From them I buy cloth and jeans then have them upcycled into bibs, tea towels and bags,  sewn by volunteers.
They make a great Xmas present!  So if you want anything let me know.

Meanwhile the financial crisis was getting worse, and I was still searching for a way to send out Sam’s positive message amidst all the doom and gloom.

Another idea that I had was to hold an art competition for young artists and art students as my budget was limited. And I thought it would be a win win.

I had watched Sam’s videos again and again and (all 30 videos can be seen on Sam says enjoy life! you tube channel). I listened for Sam’s funny catch phrases, and sketched scenes that particularly evoked her spirit. I gave these storyboards to the artists.  Their brief was to create 3 different scenes that recreated Sam’s vibrant personality.

This was not any easy road. To attract as many striving young artists as possible to the competition,  I plastered posters  all over Barcelona:  And I was heavily fined for littering! 

Still I didn't give up. It was so exciting to see these different artistic visions of the same theme, that I decided to break all the rules of branding, and chose not one, but 3 winners. I do like to break the NORM. Ever since then I regularly recommission the different artists with new catch phrases and scenes. So we have Sam Says Enjoy Life products for all tastes.

( When I commissioned my friend Benjami Tous we would work together and I would also film him. These videos are on the Sam says enjoy life! Youtube channel and quite funny).

At the same time I set up the Sam Says Enjoy Life! blog with the aim of spreading Sam’s life enhancing message.

One day at the Wallace collection I came across the SMart magazine. I was SAMazed by the magazine which I found quite SAMcredible. SAMazing… So, I decided to write to them about my project, and a few days later I met up with Jaime Bautista and his team. We hit it off, and a few months later Smart’s inhouse journalist Dee King wrote an article about the Sam says enjoy life! project.

And here we still are.

For those of you who don´t know SMart, this is short for Socially Marginalized Art. It’s a charity to empower homeless and socially excluded people through creative activity. Which is precisely one of the aims of Sam Says Enjoy Life!

Sam Says Enjoy Life is about starting a sustainable, anti-globalisation movement in which the merchandise is made by local non profits.  Items are hand printed. Old jeans are upcycled into bibs & hand bags. (Table cloths donated by hotels when refurbishing have been turned into tea towels , bibs & shopping bags)

The proposal is to have a monthly Music Hall to raise money for the NGO and at the same time offer artists the possibility of being seen in. A meeting point for creatives of the city of Barcelona, a sort of “Les deux Magots”in Paris or “4 Gats” in Barcelona with no fixed abode, but with the “enjoy life” motto.
Then I asked my uncle Eddie to help me by writing some lyrics for a song dedicated to Sam which he did. And I asked my friends Michelle Ndrika (ex singer in the band S Express) and Libby Barnes if they would give it a go to put music to these lyrics. So they did and they will be performing on the 12th of November. These are the lyrics that my uncle wrote .

Then 2 years ago I took two large suitcases of Sam says enjoy life t-shirts and bags around Glastonbury and distributed the merchandise to different people for free asking them to say the Sam says enjoy life to camera in exchange. Through that I  meet Lisa Bilson and gave her a bag and a few weeks later found out that when Lisa read about the project on facebook she knew and adored Sam. So I asked her to sing a song. So Lisa will also be singing at the event together with her dear friend Nina Walsh who happens to be a very close friend of a really close friend of mine called Stephanie Ansell, who will sing with them. 

Then I have also asked Sam's friend Filipa Bleck's son Martin who were on holiday in Thailand with Sam when the Tsunami hit them to write a song in Sam's memory and he will also come and perform his song at the event. Martin let me use a song of his on the very first video we edited in Sam's memory:

I then hope that we can make a little cd of all the songs and sell them to raise more money. But that's on the back burner!!

One our aims is to try and obtain an end of lease shop as from now up until Xmas. Like a sort of charity shop where people come and donate the stuff they don't want big enough to hold work shops for SMart. Perhaps working with UPCYCLING projects and  re sell the upcycled objects as well as to sell the Sam says enjoy life! merchandise that has already UpCycled in Barcelona. 
The principle is that art and creative activities are therapeutic. And so, my work with Sam says enjoy life has been therapeutic for me:  a way of dealing with my grief. A way to stay in contact with Sam, to  keep her memory alive, watching her on the videos, listening to her voice and her distinctive naughty laugh. I truly believe that ART is therapeutic and that together with Sam's special energy and SMart we can make a difference. 

Good vibrations is what Sam always gave out and most people who have attended any of the past events that Sam says enjoy life have organised will tell you the magic energy is always there.