L'Officiel Hommes USA
THE DON OF POP ART
To his 200,000+ adoring Instagram followers, Donald Robertson is a fun-loving but mythical figure known simply as @Drawbertson. He’s often seen wielding his paintbrush or a spool of gaffer tape, repurposing garbage into topical works that poke fun at everyone from Coco Chanel to the Cleveland Cavaliers. His latest undertaking is a new studio/gallery space in Santa Monica, California, where his patrons can meet the man himself.
“I HATE SLEEPING. I WOULD TAKE DON’T SLEEP SLEEPING PILLS IF I COULD FIND THEM.”
Tell us about your past life, pre-painting.
If I was a board game, the first square would be the suburbs of Canada, then I was an art college drop out, then I moved to Paris as a starving artist, then I became the MAC Cosmetics staff artist, then I was a New Yorker wannabe until I had my magazine heyday as a ”Creative Director” of Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan, then I moved to Estée Lauder as an executive.
When did you decide to pick up a brush? Did you instantly see dollar signs?
I painted rocks as a kid, and sold them to people on the beach, so I was a sell out from the start.
You have worked with numerous brands do you ever say no to a collaboration?
I mostly do collabs with friends like Linda Fargo, Graydon Carter, Sarah Handelman, and Stacey Eisner. The brands come after. It’s usually because I like the people. Barbie was a very close friend for example. Cough – money! – cough.
“Buy Them Nothing” is your mantra with your kids.
I have five kids, so I know they are only ever interested in the box. Other spoiled children come to our house and ask where our toy-stuffed playroom is and I point outside.
Your boys skate. Have you ever been on a skateboard?
Why did you move to LA from NY?
I watched The Beverly Hillbillies as a kid growing up in freezing Canada. Does anyone on the planet not want to move to California?
Have you ever gotten into trouble with a piece of art?
Good Question. Yes, I did a cheeky painting of a Karl [Lagerfeld] funeral as a theme for a Chanel show. It was very chic, but cutting. I was asked to be more sensitive by higher- ups in Paris, so I archived it.
You’ve been called the ”Warhol of Instagram” - how are you like Andy?
I’m very pale and balding, but I can draw.
How does your family feel about your digital high profile?
My kids are very happy about Tiktok. It’s 100% dad free.
How much sleep do you get per night?
I hate sleeping. I would take ”don’t sleep” sleeping pills if I could find them.
What is a day in the life of Donald like?
If my day was a board game it would be: First square coffee at 4am, then paint paint-post-paint-pose-post-paint, then drop kids at school, followed by more coffeepaint-post. Then eat bad things until it’s time for wine, followed by skate park and night-night.