One Interview: Danny Roberts

Illustrator Danny Roberts documents the high end scene with wit and whimsy: his signature stylish portraits of fashion luminaries and models offer a fresh take on fashion’s vision of perfection and are popping up everywhere. Continuing’s interview collaboration with One Mgmt, One’s Christopher Michael sits down with Danny to discuss the rise of the bloggerati, illustration’s role in contemporary magazines and of course, where you can get one of Danny’s drawings for yourself.

Guest interview by 1 Mgmt’s Christopher Michael

Christopher Michael: After the discovery of your work and my initial obsession with the idea that you were our generation’s soon to be Andy Warhol portraits person, I delved deeper only to discover that you’re quite the entrepreneur through and through! Most people are familiar with your incredible illustrations that have been shown in numerous fashion publications including various Vogues, but tell us more about the licensing and additional interests that fall under the umbrella of Danny Roberts…

Danny Roberts: Oh, thank you so much. Wow, such an honor to even be compared to Andy Warhol. Yeah, I guess I’ve always been an artist and entrepreneur. I started a little business selling used golf balls to golfers when I was 8, and also started a clothing company when I was 13. I like art & business for the same reason; I’m a builder. Ever since I was little, I liked to build things, whether it be a Lego castle, a layered painting, a short film, a blog, or business.

CM: Selfishly inquiring as I’m sure many could agree, how does one go about obtaining a portrait by Danny Roberts? Surely there is some incredible fee or long waiting list to endure…

DR: Hahah. Well, the best and easiest way to go about it is to e-mail [email protected], and attach some pictures. As far as a waiting list… there is a bit of a waiting list. And pricing just depends on what a person wants ;)

CM: I want I want.. At a turning of the page in our industry’s culture, the new and improved ‘it kids’ are today’s fashion bloggers. It seems a small, yet select group of you have been receiving international acknowledgement by some very key ‘powers that be’ in our business as of late… What sort of experiences have you had in being considered one of the relevant contributors to this newly discovered realm of bloggers?

DR: It’s been an absolute complete honor! It’s so incredible because my brother talked me into starting my blog. I did it, not really expecting that anyone would actually read it, and it’s been one of the most amazing experiences ever. :)

CM: In terms of being commissioned by magazines to perhaps illustrate editorial or art their pages throughout the editorial section, how open are you to the requests and proposals currently coming your way?

DR: I’m definitely open. The biggest thing for me is time. I like to have enough time to do a good job.

CM: In the past year or so there also seems to be a return of illustration to the fashion pages that have so long been dominated by photography, this making it a perfect time for you to enjoy quite a lot of opportunity as an artist. Aside from being happy about this, why do you think illustration is coming back as prominently as it is?

DR: I think with the rise in technology, it has made perfection something attainable with photography. I think, as a whole, people relate more to imperfection instead of perfection. So I think it’s the imperfections of painting and illustration that are helping it come back.

CM: That is so true, I personally prefer the flawed or obvious special effects rather than the attempt at perfection as well. At 13 you already had your own clothing company for t-shirts, in your early 20’s you’ve managed to collaborate with the likes of Gwen Stefani and Lancôme on licensing and design deals and be covered by Vogues in countries around the world, it seems pretty clear that your talent is not really restricted by any particular medium and that fashion is the root of your cause… Do you think we may see a collection of your own some day?

DR: Yes, I think, very possibly. I still design clothes for fun in my spare time, and I hope to dabble in that in the future. I would love to help in creative directing for a line. :)

CM: Now our minds will wonder which Line will be first of course…. With models as such a frequent subject of your work, how much do you keep up with the ‘who’s doing what’ of the business? Are you quite familiar with the girls in general? Do you find yourself scanning agency websites or just take them out of shots and magazine images?

DR: Yes, models are definitely my favorite subject matter to draw. I don’t really monitor the ‘who’s doing what’. The way I usually decide who I want to paint is if I see something in a girl that I feel like I could capture on paper. I can usually tell at first glance if a person is a fit for my style or not :)

CM: Amidst your multimedia hurricane, what can we anticipate from your ongoing and ever changing realm of work?

DR: I’m hoping to launch a web channel in the near future, that covers art, fashion, & music. I’m still looking for contributors to the shows. Also, I’ve been working on writing a music album. There are a few collaborations I’m working on, but it’s too early to mention them yet.

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