David Bromstad Paints for a Cause

BY Winston Gieseke

July 25 2011 2:05 PM ET

When did you get involved in the fight against AIDS?
I think the fight begins when you get tested the first time. It’s a very scary thing to do, especially when you’re young. I remember back in the day it took two weeks to get your results, and those were the worst two weeks ever. For me, the fight’s been going on ever since.

Tell me about the “Know Yourself: Get HIV Tested” initiative.
I want people to be encouraged and know that getting tested is just something they need to do to maintain their health. It’s like brushing your teeth — not doing it shouldn’t be an option. What’s great about this is that I’ll be able to help get the word out in the way I know best, through creative means.

By creating a mural?
Yes. And I am looking to my fans to give me some advice via Twitter or Facebook about how they think it should look. I’ll be glad to take anyone’s inspiration — I’m an artist and a designer that loves collaboration. All I know for sure is there will be lots of color and the mural will be encouraging and uplifting but also very direct.

What do you see as the epidemic’s biggest hurdle?
I think people are lazy, honestly. I think they’re like, Well, it’s a manageable disease — therefore I don’t have to protect myself. If worst comes to worst, all I have to do is pop that pill. [The medicines do] great things when you have HIV, but do you really want to have that as an option when you can just slap a condom on?

Penny Lane released a line of your original artwork in May. How’s that going?
The response I’ve gotten has been amazing. I’m not sure of exact numbers, but to me it’s a dream regardless. I’m having such a great time creating more pieces, so you’ll see some more art added to that line very soon. Especially now that we’re back in production on Color Splash.

Can we look forward to other David Bromstad products?
Oh, yes! I have a bed and bath collection coming out in the fall, which will be launched during Market Week in New York. I’ve seen some of the mock-ups and I’m really excited. I’m not yet sure where the products will be sold, but they’ll be affordable.

Are you able to make quick trips to Home Depot, or are you always mobbed?
I try, but it usually doesn’t end up being a quick trip.

What happens?
Lots of pictures. Lots of autographs. Lots of advice. “Come and look at these carpet samples.” “How about this tile for my house? Here are photos.” It often turns into that.

Sounds tedious. Do you provide your own wardrobe for Color Splash, or should we thank the network for the tight-fitting T-shirts and tank tops you wear so well?

I think if it was up to the network, I’d be wearing something a little bit looser, but no, I supply my own wardrobe. [Laughs]

When making new friends, what’s more unforgivable: someone who’s constantly late or someone with a bad taste in design?
Someone who’s constantly late. For sure.

You can put up with bad taste?
Absolutely. As long as I don’t have to live there. [Laughs]





























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