Escape Artist

Escape Artist - Enter the wonderful world of Donald Robertson!
Escape Artist - Enter the wonderful world of Donald Robertson!

Escape Artist

Enter the wonderful world of Donald Robertson!

Illustrators love fashion and the wonderland of designers, accessories, and celebrities it represents. But fashion, in return, is deeply fascinated with one particular illustrator, Mr. Donald Robertson. The father of five and creative director who decided, as late as 2012, to dive into social media (@drawbertson) and explore the medium with his incredible designs, almost child-like depictions of iconic people and products, gaining him a fan base of 204 k and counting, among which megastars such as Beyonce, three books and collaborations with powerhouses such as Estee Lauder, MAC, and Smashbox, to name but a few. Luisaworld talked to him about inspiration, magazines and artfully reacting to the world.

Escape Artist - Enter the wonderful world of Donald Robertson!
Escape Artist - Enter the wonderful world of Donald Robertson!

How soon did you realize that Instagram could work as an artistic outlet? Are you using the medium or are you allowing it to use you?

Any painter or illustrator back before Instagram started will tell you that this app changed how we get eyeballs on our work! My phone is my gallery, my archive and my gift shop! So yes we are both using each other to glorious effect.

How much has fashion influenced your outlook? 

I like to think of myself as half Cecil Beaton half Bill Murray when it comes to what inspires me. Fashion and art yes but with a lot of eye rolls and inside jokes.

Who were you fascinated with, growing up?

When I was young we would take the bus to a thing called the library.  It’s where a Canadian kid growing up in the suburbs could read about art and fashion and film. The great escape industries. And all the great escape artists!

What kind of sartorial phases have you, yourself, gone through? How would you describe your style, now?

My work is more about the constant flow and not the finished product.  I’m reacting artfully to what goes on every day in the world.

Having worked in magazines, what is the one thing you find absolutely fascinating about them? Now with the end of Interview magazine, are we witnessing the death of print?

Magazines are like radio was back in the day when movies came along. That said podcasts are radio and movies mixed. I think they just need to mix more with new technology.

Would Andy Warhol or even Rodin have an Instagram account?

Andy Warhol was a guest star on this cheesy tv show called the Love Boat! So yes! Rodin would be more inclined to google inspiration.

When art actually covers/wraps/boxes products, does it start from a different place in your brain? Is it more restrictive?

No! The box part I leave to the designers. I just paint and forward.

Escape Artist - Enter the wonderful world of Donald Robertson!
Escape Artist - Enter the wonderful world of Donald Robertson!

How do your children inspire you, artistically?

 I just did a piece for a French fashion magazine of the Chanel resort collection on models dressed as Marvel characters! Spider-Man masks and all. You tell me how they inspire me…   Ha!

Tell us about your new endeavor…a beautiful painted box collection for this skincare brand Rodin. I imagined women living under the sea and they used them all. I am very excited about sharing this!

Escape Artist - Enter the wonderful world of Donald Robertson!
Escape Artist - Enter the wonderful world of Donald Robertson!