At Band of Boys we have become known for our original prints that emerge from collabs with the coolest artists around. For our AW21 season we were beyond stoked to be working again with the insanely talented Cara Jane Diffey.
Cara is a bold, passionate designer and illustrator based in Sydney. Her work is bright, striking and heavily influenced by the street, skate and underground culture of her home town, Coffs Harbour. All about big colour and big energy, Cara’s style matches perfectly with the new bold direction of the brand and her drawings capture the Band of Boys cool kid vibe flawlessly.
You can find Cara on Instagram @carajanediffey or learn a little more about her and her inspiration below...


Cara, please let everyone know a little more about yourself...

Hey, my name is Cara, a designer, artist and illustrator based in sunny Sydney, Australia.


How did your interest in design begin?

I’ve had an interest in art and illustration since I can remember. I was always drawing and covering my school books in weird doodles and characters. Graphic design was a natural progression, one that I’m so glad I discovered when I did.



Did you do a course to start you in graphic design?

I completed a 4 year degree, Bachelor of Design through The University of New South Wales. It was a cool course, super experimental which really nurtured my creative thinking. It was quite conceptual, which was great as no creative idea was off limits (if you could make it work).


Besides designing do you have any hobbies, something you like to do in your free time?

Illustrating has always been a hobby, and painting on the weekends. I love sitting down with my iPad and drawing something completely random. It always feels like a creative release which I think is really important.



When was your first collab with Band of Boys?

Back in 2019, Susan and I worked on our first collection for Summer 2020. It was super fun and I was really drawn to the loose and free illustration style that the brand represents. Not to mention their love for tigers, the Band of Boys aesthetic was certainly something I connected with instantly.



Which is your all-time favourite collab item/design whilst working with Band of Boys?

I’ve really enjoyed creating each and every design for Band of Boys, but I would have to say the burger illustration was an extra fun one. I really loved seeing how it was transformed into both The Collectibles and used as a statement on the tees. Definitely a fave.



Where do you get your inspiration? 

I usually draw inspiration from what we have worked on previously, ensuring to remain on brand and create something that will work well with the Band of Boys realm. General street, surf and skate culture has always been an inspiration and fits appropriately for the Band of Boys aesthetic. Whether it’s noticing a cool skateboard graphic or a cool pair of boardies on the beach, there’s always inspiration everywhere.


Do you have a favourite designer yourself?

Many. Probably too many to list. Not so much designers, even though there’s an element of design within every illustration, but mostly illustrators. There’s always legends like Ben Brown, Sindy Sinn, Kentaro Yoshida, Travis Price, Alex Lehours and Steven Harrington for example, that I’ve always admired.


What is your favourite design program?

Illustrator. Best. Program. Ever. Sometimes I dream about it, that’s how much I love it ha!


What is your favourite thing to design – it could be anything!

I always love creating things that are reflective of surf and skate culture. Could be a gross skull or a skateboard monster, I just enjoy creating things that have personality and a bit of a loose edge. I can rarely go past illustrating some sort of weird eyeball.



What is your preference, detailed brief, loose brief or free-reign!

I’m quite a fan of a loose brief. A brief where there is room to move freely within my own style and ideas, but also a brief that isn’t too free. I’d say somewhere between detailed and loose.


What are the key elements in your opinion that makes a great design?

Bold line work, use of colour and relatable subject matter. Combining all three of those elements, is a great foundation to create something lively and interesting.


Outside of band of boys, Tell us about a project you’re most proud of and why.

I’ve worked on many projects that I’m quite proud of. A stand out was painting a live mural for the 2018 Winx Stakes Day in Randwick, Sydney. The mural was super bright and colourful, and the line work was executed just how I like it. Having people stand in front of the mural to take photos with family and friends was really cool.

What’s your creative process?

My creative process often changes depending on the project at hand. Sometimes it involves going for a walk or finding inspiration outside, other times I have an idea at my desk straight away and just get into it. Sketching loosely on the iPad in Procreate is often the first place I start.


What would be your advice to anyone wanting to start out in design?

Just have fun with it and enjoy yourself. If you don’t enjoy the process of creating for the brief, you won’t enjoy submitting the outcome.


Do you have an inspirational quote that represents you?

I don’t rely on a particular quote in particular, but I often remind myself that passion and hard work is rewarded. If you work hard, enjoy what you create, then the reward will come.