Inspiring Instagramers: donalddrawbertson

Username: donalddrawbertson
Info: Google: Vanity Fair, NYPost, Life and Times

Donald Robertson’s Instagram feed has been getting a lot of press lately, including being feature in the New York Post and Vanity Fair. The Post dubbed him the Andy Warhol of Instagram, which is quite the compliment, but after checking out his artwork, that comparison seems pretty spot on.

Donald, a Toronto native, tried to get an art degree at the Ontario School of Art, but was asked to leave because his instructors thought he was “too commercial.” After spending time in Paris, he returned to Canada where he became of three original founders of MAC Cosmetics, which if you’re familiar with the brand, you know that it’s about as artistic as makeup gets. Donald is now the head of Creative Development at Bobbi Brown Cosmetics.

Beyond his creative day job, Donald spends his free time creating whimsical, colorful, fashion-inspired works of art. Most of which are impressionistic sketches, capturing the frenetic energy of the speed in which they were created. No medium is off limits. From the studio in his basement, he uses Sharpies, paint, tape, cereal boxes, Whole Foods Bags, toast, you name it, to create daily works of art (in just over 4k posts) that he shares with his 35k+ Instagram followers.

People say I am reminiscent of Andy Warhol because he started as an illustrator and then transitioned into art. I am kind of in that position now. Andy’s output was maybe monthly. I like putting out three or four things a day. My main influence is a cross between Wes Anderson and Damien Hirst. Because the thing about both of them is everything they do feels really hands-on. You can see their hands in their work.

For a self-proclaimed “schmoe-y guy who lives in surburbia,” he has made quite a splash on Instagram, which has led to some exciting collaborations. For example, he designed a wallpaper for Warby Parker founder Neil Blumenthal which was then picked up by J.Crew for their children’s line.

Robertson describes his work as “happy and high-end,” and is currently selling his art on the Trendabl app, where prices for his original art range from $250 to $2,200. Robertson is also planning a gallery show in New York this June.

As for where he gets his inspiration, he said:

Instagram begets Instagram. It’s like an idea recharger! Endless inspiration! People who follow me on Instagram wish I had a creative block. I am a serial poster. I have too many ideas. And getting such positive feedback from the Insta-community is like feeding a bear!


I like to say that I’m a designer by day, blogger by night and photographer on the side. I started my career in package design before going into advertising, then B2B communications, a small stint back into packaging and I now work for a large digital agency. I am so lucky to get to do what I love every day, but I am always looking for creative outlets. My blog, Girly Obsessions, allows me to design something that represents me – my aesthetic and my obsessive personality! I love taking and editing photos, and am slightly addicted to Instagram and Lightroom. I also love to travel and explore. I love to bake. And most importantly, I just love to think creatively.

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