Donald Robertson


SIGN HERE: “My hands aren’t cramping,” said Donald Robertson midway through his book signing. “This is what’s so good about L.A. People don’t come to book signings in L.A. because the traffic’s so bad.”

The illustrator — known for his witty voice and fashionably chic art — swung to Assouline’s South Coast Plaza store Thursday evening to celebrate the launch of his book “Donald — The Book.” After authoring two children’s titles, the partnership with Assouline marks what Robertson called his “big art moment.”

It’s also a reflection of a point in time where relatively unknown artists can surge to the big time via social media. Robertson, who doubles as Estée Lauder creative director, has cultivated a following of some 193,000 devotees on Instagram who track his posts — a mix of scenes with his family and glimpses of his art. The attention has turned the heads of companies such as Bergdorf Goodman and Smashbox, which he’s collaborated with.

“This is how it works. I met these two on Instagram probably 100 years ago and loved him and loved her,” he said motioning to a couple who came to his book signing. “She’s a great artist.”

The artist, Lori LaMont from Los Angeles, is self-taught and Robertson said he’s looking to connect her with his contacts in the world of fashion. Among LaMont’s more recent Instagram posts are paintings she’s done on Balmain, Fendi and Diane von Furstenberg bags. Robertson also pointed to artist Helen Downie, known as Unskilled Worker on Instagram and elsewhere. Downie on Thursday launched a capsule with Gucci.

“This is what the world’s doing now,” Robertson said, referencing the use of Instagram to discover new artists. “Unskilled Worker has a Gucci [capsule]. I can have a book and the new kids can be connected with Vuitton and Dior through Instagram.”

Robertson kicked off his book tour at Maison Assouline in London and after South Coast is set for stops at Forty Five Ten in Dallas and San Francisco.

The book, at 300 pages, is a collection of Robertson’s work on various collaborations and sells for $85.

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