Marek Wysoczyński, a Smile Coach
Marek is also the founder and principal of the World Smile Archive. Marek has graduated from the University of Gdańsk. He was studying law but eventually, he became a Master of Arts in History. Currently, with his Culture Promotion Office he organises various concerts and unique exhibitions all around the world.
"Smiling affects our whole body in an incredibly positive way! Not only does it enhance the release of endorphins – happiness hormones – but it also has a beneficial influence on our physical well-being. And what if I told you that smiling can additionally help other people? So why not share your smile with the world?
And that’s exactly what I did, but let’s start from the beginning. I studied law at the University of Gdansk, but eventually I received my Master of Arts in History. Currently I am the director of the Culture Promotion Office and I organize various concerts and unusual exhibitions all over the world, but predominantly I am the founder and CEO of World Smile Archive, an amazing project that I came to talk to you about."
How it all stared?
It all started with the first autograph I had received in 1980 from a Polish singer and actress Kalina Jędrusik. I carried on collecting the autographs of famous people, which I first presented to the world on an exhibition entitled “1000 autographs for the Millennial Anniversary of the City of Gdansk”. Then I came up with an idea that the autographs would bring more joy if they were accompanied by a smile. At first I was showing the smiley autographs in children’s hospitals, but soon I realized that adults also enjoy them greatly. So I decided to spread the smile all over the world, because I believe that this simple act can have a major positive impact on our everyday life.
Since 2001 I’ve been organizing smile exhibitions and smile workshops. The smiley autographs, including the ones of Jordanian Queen Noor, Patriarch of Constantinopol Bartholomeus I, Diego Maradonna and President Lech Walesa, have been exhibited in Poland as well as other countries, for example Mexico and Vietnam. The latest exhibition entitled United Nations, United Smile took place during the session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The workshops have been organized in children’s oncology hospitals in such cities as Cairo, Istanbul, Tehran and Shanghai, as well as in schools all around Poland, Austria, Germany in Crimea and Bronx.
"I believe that a smile breaks all the barriers and draws people together. It can solve the largest problems and make the world a better place!"
I cooperate with artists, sportspeople, politicians and celebrities to collect new smiles which we later add to the World Smile Archive. The smiley autographs bring joy and positive energy, so we take them to hospitals, orphanages and schools. But that’s not all! Apart from presenting the autographs, we also encourage children to create their own smiles. This way, we show them that their smiles are just as important and influential as a smile of Poland’s greatest football player, Robert Lewandowski! We send a clear message: as far as the positivity of a smile is concerned, you are as strong as an Olympian, as significant as a Nobelist and as fabulous as a film star! All the smiles created during our workshops add up to the Archive and are later used to help other patients. So in spite of their own illness, the children contribute to the smile therapy of those in need. It shows that literally everyone can help and it doesn’t cost a single penny!
The act of putting a smile on a piece of paper makes it lasting. That is why it can be a comfort in time of distress and pain. The memory of the positive energy which was shared soothes and relieves little patients.
World Smile Archive
World Smile Archive is an impressive collection of over ten thousand smiley autographs. It includes for example smiles drawn by Pierce Brosnan, Angela Merkel, Liza Minelli, Katie Melua, Keanu Reeves, Petula Clark, Jim Carrey, Roger Waters, Whoopi Goldberg, Pedro Almodovar, Paulo Coehlo, Jackie Chan, Vaclav Havel, Maria Kaczynska, Hillary Clinton, Agnieszka Holland, Andrzej Wajda… and many, many more.