Donald Robertson, also known to his fans on Instagram and beyond as “Drawbertson,” started off an incredible career as a creative director by launching iconic beauty brand MAC, then moving on to stints at Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Cargo, and most recently Esteé Lauder. These days, he’s best known for the quirky, playful paintings and illustrations that he posts on social and his website, and for his dynamic collaborations with brands ranging from Bergdorf Goodman to Smashbox Cosmetics to the Sunset Tower Hotel in West Hollywood. You can check out his latest projects on Creatively here.
What is the first creative project you remember?
I would paint on rocks at the beach. Then I would pull my wagon along the beach and sell them to sun tanners. People still have them. I was a sell-out from the start.
Describe your aesthetic in three words.
Tongue in Chic.
What was the most fulfilling collaboration you’ve worked on?
What’s one creative project that taught you something fundamental about yourself?
I painted an upside-down Wheaties Box with Colin Kaepernick on it when Nike signed him. Kids went wild for it, but it was expensive and sold quickly. I decided the message was too important so I released it as a free download. My oldest son did a fancy internship that summer and his boss had the Colin print blown up huge and framed in her office! Wow! WOW! It made me realize that artists are powerful truth tellers.
Do you think creativity is something you’re born with, or something you’re taught?
I have taught all my kids to draw and paint. I have five kids. They are all good at it. None of them practice it. Who knows.
What’s the last dream you had?
It’s a painting on my site. A giraffe sailing past the Chrysler Building. It’s wonderful.
One hundred years from now, what do you hope people write about your work?
Not that Donald!