Artist Spotlight Series: Donald “Drawbertson” Robertson

Here is the big surprise as promised.
I used a little gumption and emailed someone I love to follow on Instagram, Donald Robertson know by Donald Drawbertson, fully expecting no response. Donald’s art is so creative, colorful, raw and chic all at the same time.   I certainly was flattered, honored, thrilled and ecstatic when he was kind enough to email right back with my interview filled out.  Donald has been a big wig in the New York publishing and cosmetics industries (where he helped launch VivaGlam,  raising more than $260 million globally for the fight against AIDS) for decades.  He has been featured recently in Vanity Fair.  Donald took the time a few days before Chrstmas to answer this interview as he was eagerly awaiting the birth of twins with his wife by his side.  A HUGE thank you! Without further adieu I introduce you to…

Donald “Drawbertson” Robertson

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What is your training?

I was one of the three original founders of MAC cosmetics.  At the time we were based in Toronto, Canada. It is now the largest color prestige  cosmetics brand in the world. When Lauder bought it in the eighties I left and spent twenty years as a creative director at Conde Nast and Hearst. I launched American Marie Claire before resigning American glamour. I have since joined Estée Lauder and have worked exclusively with Aerin Lauder and Bobbi Brown

 What inspires you and your designs?

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Instagram inspires my design. I react to it. It is my art exercise. That and my children. I watch what they are interested in and they have opened my eyes to whole new worlds.  

What is your favorite piece?

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I love saving plastic from the garbage. It’s so terrible how much we throw away. I am not necessarily a tree hugger but we should be conscious of where it all goes.  Currently my favorite piece is a large plastic paint sheet that I covered with gaffer tape.  It went from being trash to being precious. That is what I’m into right now 


What is your favorite restaurant in New York?


I live in New York City. The land of great restaurants. My wife and I love love love Swiftys on the upper east side.  It’s like having dinner in a Woody Allen movie. Great soufflés and fantastic old world new york atmosphere  

What is your favorite cocktail?


I love the gin gimlets at the ivy by the shore in L.A.  The best. Then you stumble down to the Santa Monica pier.  Fun night  


How do you balance personal life and work?

I have five children and a very stressful job! There is no balance.  What I do is I don’t watch tv at all and I sleep as little as possible. It works. 


Dream trip?


 My wife and I recently went to paradise. Amankila resort in Bali! I travel a lot and stay in very nice hotels but this one in bali you need to google to believe extroidinary in every way. Simple and elegant it’s worth the trip. 

Dream commission?

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I recently gave Giles Deacon And Katie Grand a series of lip paintings I had been working on. . They very cleverly had them turned into fabric and even had them hand embroidered into evening dresses in Swarovski crystals.


 It was crazy to see my paintings coming down the runway at his SS14 show. It was fantastic to say the least.  

Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?

I like to draw people.  I usually send a sketch of the big night the day after. People like it!  

Who is your style icon?

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Your favorite up and coming artist?

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I love my good friend Eric Cahan‘s sky photographs.  They are incredibly simple yet colorful and leave everything up to your eyes imagination I have three small ones but am saving up to buy a big one 


What is your most treasured possession?

My friend Eunsun Lee recently made me a handmade book of all my Instagram posts for this year.  I post alot so it’s a massive book. Flipping through something that is technically supposed  to be digital is fun. It’s old school. 


What are you reading?

I don’t read !


What are you listening to?

My teenage daughter and sons playlists! The best! That’s all I can tell you! 

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“American Hustle”




Congrats to Donald,  and his family for the beautiful babies


If you are interested in purchasing his work, .as I certainly will be, you can purchase through the Trendabl app. Search Donald Drawbertson.  I am dying for all of them but, who to choose? Anna, Karl, Grace, Diana

Is he not just the coolest?

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