Christine Diep
Paper Folder / Traveller / Hat Maker

Sometimes you meet people that quietly radiate something special. You know the ones — where you have to dig a little deeper. They’re not driven by fame, or status, just the simple joy of using their talent to create moments of happiness. That’s Christine; hat designer by day — creative maker-doer-explorer by night. Inspired by travel and exploration I’ve managed to persuade her to direct her creative compass in our direction. Enjoy.

Describe your self in one word.
Do-er (maker is just a little too much)

Tell us a bit about your day job?
In my everyday, I’m drawing hats and trying to make them happen. While I spend a lot of time working digitally, I also get to spend time with pencils, paper and fabrics, cutting things this way, twisting them that way. I take great pleasure in working with my hands.

What’s your earliest memory?
Downhill tobogganing at Jamerboo Recreation Park, down south of Sydney (Mountains of Fun!).

What type of Kid were you?
I was an only child until I was aged 6… so there was no one really around to annoy until then. I think I became quite good at entertaining myself…. usually making stuff or jumping on the trampoline. For hours. Really.

What posters did you have on your walls?
Admittedly, my posters were very pop. But pretty much everything and anything went up on my walls, like overloaded pinboards. If I liked it, it went up. Photos. Postcards. Flyers. Magazine tears. Printed paperbags. I made collages and paper-cut out shapes, and they were all up there too.

Did or do you get into trouble for daydreaming?
I don’t think I got in trouble as such, but if I said something that seemed unrealistic, I was certainly told so. And this happened a lot. A head in the clouds.

Did you have a hero growing up?
Did I? I can’t think of anyone if I did.

How do you relax?
It’s not always an easy go-to, but I find folding origami so relaxing and calming thing when I am doing it.

What’s your favourite smell and why?
There’s a smell which is specific to summer afternoons in a certain sunlight. Fresh cut grass is part of it, but not all of it. It reminds me of being a kid roaming around the yard waiting for dinner to be ready.

Where’s the most enjoyable place in the world?
On the road. Being in that constant state of discovery and newness when you’re travelling. The thing is, when you’re in the moment, sometimes you’re too wrapped in it to really appreciate the experience. Especially when that feeling of discovery tangles your gut and confuses you into a moment of anxiety. It’s not until after some reflection that you think “Wow. I went there. I did that. Amazing”.

Who’s the funniest person you know and why?
My Toma. Perfect combination of bad and/or inappropriate humor, air musician skills (like a one man air-band) and his extreme (often public) dance moves.

What’s more important to you, getting it right or making mistakes?
By elimination – making mistakes. I am certainly not a perfectionist.

How do you stay happy?
By contrasting my “everyday” and my “usual”…. by staying curious,  seeking and discovering new ideas, skills, projects, places to travel, books, art, music to sink my teeth into, to be inspired by. With all the little projects I have going on, people wonder where I find the time. You just have to make it. Dream jobs exist, but in reality, not for everyone… but that doesn’t mean you can’t do what you love.

If you could collaborate with anyone in the world who would it be?
Wow. Too many…. but I think, high up there on the dream collaboration list are the artisans of Hermes. Not very “me”, but the skill and workmanship are awe inspiring. Watch it.

Tell me one book, movie, blog, recipe, holiday destination or anything that could change my life?
1.Holiday designation: Mongolia. We travelled down to the Gobi Desert in the south of Mongolia during our Trans-Siberian Railway journey last year. The nomadic life is a hard one, but they make it work and are still happy, generous people.
2. A passage from “I Wonder”, by Marjan Bantjes, typographic artist. It’s a series of essays and observations, but the one titled “Wonder” is my favourite… especially the closing paragraphs. “To say ‘I wonder’ is to say ‘I question; I ask.’ The mind seeks. Sometimes it finds answers, sometimes it does not. We need to wonder in order to keep moving and growing – to stay alive to the world. it gives us meaning and, in fact, makes us human”.

What’s your definition of happiness?
It is so many things. It is an afternoon nap in a sunny patch. Bumping into friends on the street. Bear hugs. Being barefoot on grass. A vivid blue sky. Simultaneous dancing/cooking in the kitchen. The view at the end of a painstaking climb. Clear ocean water. Receiving snail mail. This all makes me sound like total cheese… but it really is about enjoying the little things.


The Enjoyable Collective