To mark our latest collection, we’re giving you a candid look at what drives the actor, activist and all-around legend, Sam Corlett.
If creativity strikes in arrows, Sam Corlett must be completely covered.
There’s a special place in our collective Merchants heart for Sam, whose artistic diligence has inspired us since our earliest days.
This is the third time we’ve collaborated with the bonafide icon, this time creating a sun-wielding pendant and familial signet. Both pieces speak to his story until now and his motivations moving forward, honouring those closest to him in mind, heart and spirit.
Merchants: So, tell us about your relationship with jewellery.
Sam: Man, I feel like if I wasn’t an actor, I’d be covered in tattoos. I love little symbolic notes of significant moments in life and expressing that through art. But, because I am an actor and I want to spend as little time as possible in the make-up chair covering up tattoos, I wear rings, cuffs and pendants.
I never wear something that doesn’t have meaning to it. I treat it almost like a ritual. And if the ring doesn’t come with sentiment, I endow it with sentiment.
Like I have The Blank II that I wear most days, and each time i put it on in the morning i think of the term ‘tabula rasa’, which means ‘blank slate’. It’s a new day, I welcome refreshment, I welcome the experience of feeling life as if it were for the first time… again.
And, yeah, I love having one of my previous rings on as well that connects me to my family all over the globe.
M: What are three of your major motivations in life?
S: Man, I just like opening myself up to new experiences, marinating in feeling, and expressing my relationship to those experiences through many different mediums - art, film, music, words, jewellery. I suppose through that, also discovering deeper levels of connection and understanding.
M: On that note, what role does connection with others play in your story?
S: It’s foundational, isn’t it? We all came from somewhere and we will all return there.
While we’re here, in these things we call “bodies”, we get to assist manifesting the un-manifest. Create with the elements. Share. And remember how wild this ride called life is.
Like, I love it when you look into someone’s eyes, that little longer than usual, and it’s like, the soul sees the soul in the other. And you’re both like … “woah, we’re living”. Those tingles of feeling in union are so nice.
M: What’s one piece of advice you will hold onto forever?
S: “You can live your dream.” So corny, but it’s the first thing that came to mind.
It was something I associate with one of those (kinda cheesy) YouTube motivational videos I downloaded when I was a teenager, to have as my morning alarm. Makes me smile now.
I’m currently re-reading / listening to ‘The Four Agreements’ by Don Miguel Ruis, and it speaks of the life we choose to live as a ‘Dream’, as though we don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are. And often that ‘Dream’ is filled with social and generational fears that limit us from believing what could be possible. With awareness of these limits we can live more freely.
M: Where do you feel most inspired to create and work?
S: Good question. I’m currently at home, on the Central Coast in Aus. It’s nice here. There’s a couple of quiet cafes I love (that shall remain nameless). But nothing is quite as palpable as a film set.
The buzz of collaboration and everyone committing their best to honour a story that will go on to move many. I feel the intensity of the moment calls forth something pretty special.
M: What are some recurring themes in your work as an actor and activist?
S: I remember journaling a lot during my time in Drama School (Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts) that it’s my purpose to go to the depths, widths and heights of myself, to be so honest that it assists others to discover a more expansive understanding of themselves, and therefore others. Big sentence, but it makes sense to me.
So if, in my art or activism, I help someone feel seen, I’m warmed by that.
M: Did you always intend on pursuing creativity as a full-time gig?
S: I mean, I suppose. Life, however you live it, is creative. Whether it be the way you make a coffee, the way you dress, the way you choose to interact with others. There’s an art to that.
But as a means of living, I had no idea. I just began to like this thing called acting, I wanted to figure out the magic trick of how one does it. And art-wise, I like imagining something and bringing it into form.
The creative energy always seeks expression and I feel if we don’t find healthy outlets, it can manifest in unhealthy habits. So it’s nice to have these avenues of expression. I feel lucky.
M: If money, time and geography weren’t objects, what does your ideal day look like?
This one makes me laugh. Wake in the Caribbean, swim in Ireland, meditate in the Himalayas, go for a walk in Sri Lanka have a coffee in Rome, surf in Mexico, breakfast in Indonesia… You get it.
I’d like to end up in my bed in Australia, I reckon. Be fun to paint in a loft in New York. That’s a dream.
The alt would be just a day in Byron Bay.
Last but not least, what’s next for Sam Corlett?
There’s a few little somethings on the horizon but i can’t reveal too much at the moment. You’ll just have to wait and see.