Cara Jane Diffey is a high-spirited and hardworking artist, illustrator and designer hailing from the bustling inner west in Sydney.

Born and raised on the sandy shores of Coffs Harbour, Cara’s work is often influenced by the surf, skate and street scenes and underground culture.

With big colours, bold lines and a whole lot of creativity, Cara can take any idea and put on a unique spin. She was the perfect creative to tap on the shoulder for a refresh of our much-loved Monsoon blend.

How would you describe your creative discipline?
Fun and exciting. I really enjoy what I do and getting the opportunity to draw fun stuff always makes it even more enjoyable.

Where would we likely find your work?

Over the years, I’ve completed a lot of murals across commercial and private spaces. Lately, I’ve been working with breweries on their merchandise and beer labels - which has been super fun! Packaging is always a good time!

Tell us about your style…
My style is bold and colourful. I always love using black outlines with pinks, blues, oranges and purples. Throw a bit of teal in there and they would be my top 5 hues. I did try using only black and white a few years back, but I couldn’t help but throw some colour in there!

How did you end up doing what you do?
The more work you create and put out there, the more opportunities you seem to get in return. I think it boils down to creating a portfolio over the years, enjoying the work that you put out there, and something always seems to come along again. Until now, when I jinx myself…

Describe the space where you like to work…
I’m the happiest working in my office space. I have all the inspiration around me that I need. I love nothing more than plugging in my head phones, putting on a podcast or show and just sketching away – even if it’s just for half an hour. When I haven’t had the opportunity to do that in a few days or even a week, I really crave that. It’s my zen, happy space.

What’s the story behind your artwork for the DC coffee bag?
The brief for the bag was to create an illustration inspired by the style of bean and where the beans come from. Essentially, the monsoon weather exposes the beans to the elements which gives them a really unique flavour. I love drawing waves…and skulls… so throw them together and boom!

Why do you believe it’s important to express yourself creatively?
Expressing myself creatively gives me a sense of calm amongst the chaos of life. I really love getting lost in an illustration or an idea. I’m often the most creative in the mornings when I’m walking our dog. We have a walk that we do by the water and it’s my favourite way to start the day. I often watch the sunrise and have heaps of ideas that really kick start my creativity for the day. Then when I get a chance to sketch, they’re all ready to go in my mind. Sometimes if I don’t get the chance during the day to sketch something, I often can’t stop thinking about it until I do.

What ideas help define your individual approach to life or your work?
I like to live by the notion that if I work hard, and enjoy what I create, then good things will come. It’s easy to work hard when you really love what you do. If I could draw all day every day for the rest of my life, I would be so stoked!

What’s your dream brief or project?
Honestly, a dream brief or project is when a client comes along and wants something that I love doing i.e skulls, skateboarding, surfing related, bones etc. This one would qualify as a dream project ☺

How do you take your coffee?
Double shot with Oat Milk. Delicious.