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Meet Sam, one of Rarotonga's most talented graphic designers and artists!

Updated: Aug 5, 2022

We are so grateful for the gifts, talents, kindness and pure generoisity we were shown by Sam when designing our logo. He is a true healer and creative powerhouse. We feel he was a gift to us because he was able to harness the energy of the island vibration he grew up in to create a light, fun, natural feeling for our restaurant. Thank you Sam! We love you! You are awesome!

Sam's Bio:

Sam Teariki Tama-tapu Ataera is a graphic designer based on the island of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, a South Pacific nation adjacent to Tahiti and Samoa. Sam grew up on Rarotonga with a father who worked the land to grow food and a mother who cared for nine children. From a young age, he recognized what would become a lifelong desire to heal people by learning how to use the herbs and plants and food around him, the way his ancestors always had. Intuitively aware of the physical and spiritual benefits of connecting with nature, he dreamed of being a taunga, or a Māori medicine man. Plant medicines and plant-based cooking remain some of his primary interests.

When he was attending high school in Auckland, New Zealand, two of Sam’s other primary interests collided, initiating his graphics career. He was recording and producing rappers and artists in his DIY home studio, and at the same time he was designing album covers for the major Kiwi labels they signed with. In the more than 20 years since, his portfolio has grown to include logos, advertisements, books, book covers, newspapers, magazines, clothing brands, public service announcements, and more for businesses, government agencies, and non-profit organizations in New Zealand, Australia, the Cook Islands, and the United States.

Locally, Sam has designed Beachlife Magazine and various advertisements for Redondo Beach restaurants and bars. He is also the founder and lead designer of Lokal Magazine, a publication funded by UNESCO and the United Nations Global Environment Facility that celebrates the indigenous wisdom of the Cook Islands. His best work is his three boys: Simiona (18), Soul (13), and Elijah (10). To connect with Sam, you can visit his website at

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