I am a Brony with Autism and I am Proud

Robby Ierubino

Robbie shares his passion for My Little Pony

By Robbie Ierubino

My name is Robbie Ierubino, and I am a 20-year-old artist with autism, who is studying Graphic Design at Staffordshire University in England. Earlier this year, the Art of Autism interviewed me about my art of “Shapism” . I have another interest that I wanted to shout out to everyone. I am what you would call a brony.

What’s a brony you may ask? Well, a brony is an adult fan of a children’s show titled, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (MLP: FiM). I know it sounds strange, but it’s true. And from the beginning to its unexpected future, the show has created a new community around the world to spread awareness and joy to everyone who watches it.

The show aired its first premiere on October 10, 2010, and was a massive success. Even though its target audience is for young girls, it has unexpectedly gained more members, who are adult men, young boys, and women. When those people became huge fans of the cartoon show, they included artists, illustrators, writers, animators, and other creatives. They began using their creativity for MLP: FiM. They even held non-profit conventions around the world, where many bronies came to visit different events, such as cosplay, art, music, contests, and panels for the cast and crew of the official show. I haven’t been into a convention before, but I wish I could go to one soon.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic follows a little pony named, Twilight Sparkle, who was a student, and now, princess, who studies the Magic of Friendship with her five friends. She had made some discoveries of how friendship works and achieved so many heroic accomplishments throughout her lifetime. For example, she had become one of the six spirits of harmony when she defeated Nightmare Moon. She was coronated as the princess of friendship after succeeding her final school project. She even opened a private school for every creature to learn and educate the world about what friendship means. Even though the show usually follows Twilight, it also follows her friends and families for other lessons on what they have learned.

The Mane Six (left to right): Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, & Applejack

My opinion about the show is that it’s epic, funny, sometimes dramatic, and so attractive that my eyes couldn’t handle it because of its animation, action, and effect! I started to watch the show around early 2013, and since then, I began to follow the community’s social media, including Equestria Daily and on DeviantArt. I became so obsessed with the creativity from the community, including their fan art, PMVs (pony music videos), comics, and many others. Here is a list of some of the popular creative members of the brony community:

• BlackGryph0n (Musician)
• ACRacebest (YouTuber)
• Tsitra360 (Artist)
• PixelKittens (Illustrator)
• ObabScribbler (Voice Actress/Writer)
• Argodaemon (3D Animator)
• Agrol/ForgaLorga (2D Animator)
• MLP-Silver-Quill (Analyst/Artist)
• Magpiepony (Voice Actress)
• The Living Tombstone (Musician)
• Saberspark (YouTuber)
• ElieMonty (Voice Actress)
• EStories (Artist/Writer)
• KKat (Writer)
• AnimatedJames (Animator)
• ILoveKimPossibleALot (Analyst)
• Lopoddity (Artist)
• Wubcake (Artist/Voice Actress)

As my addiction to the show and the community continued, I had a feeling that I wanted to do something for the community. But the problem is that I don’t have the talent to draw and design characters and backgrounds. I may not be a traditional artist, but I may have the ability to be an art director, which is someone who is responsible for the images and their visual styles in any media. So, I created a group in DeviantArt titled, MLPNextGenbyRI, for any artist, illustrator, and author who wanted to volunteer and support my “Next Generation” idea of a series that I am currently working on called, My Little Pony: Love is Everything. The series follows the children of Twilight Sparkle and her friends going on a journey to study a new type of magic called, the Spread of True Love, and what makes the children unique is that some of them have disabilities including autism.

The Main Cast of My Little Pony: Love is Everything (top to bottom, left to right): Cirrus Thunderclap, Constellar Starburst, Celestia Glimmer, Sweet ‘Apple’ Sapling, Stardust Spectrum, Dream Mist, Moonbeam Thread, Little Apple, Beauty, & Racer Dash

I also wanted to focus on my childhood dream of being an actor, screenwriter, and director in film and television in another project that is even bigger than my “Next Generation” idea. So, I decided to direct and create a radio play called, My Little Pony: The Unexpected Future, and I have been thinking about the story ideas for about five years. I planned it as a sequel finale of the original series and a prequel of my Next Generation idea. Its story is about three human beings, who are from OUR world, got trapped in another world where the official series took place and by trying to get back to Earth, they have to reunite Twilight Sparkle and her friends after a major incident that happened a year ago. Even though I have gotten started on it, I still need to build a cast and crew for a project that is so big! And with that in mind, I created a web page for those who wanted to volunteer and support my project in Patreon, which is a membership platform that helps artists and creators with their big plans by getting paid by their supporters and fans.

The Logo for My Little Pony: The Unexpected Future

With all of the creative plans that I wanted to work on as a new member of the brony community, I wanted to dedicate my projects to the community itself, and the cast, crew, and the creator, Lauren Faust, of the official television show. Since people have different interests and passions, everyone’s perfect world is created differently. So, your perfect world may be different than mine. But we can still be a community that works together in harmony. We may be all different, but those differences should be accepted. We need to learn about each other and others differences. As humans, we all have things in common and we can build on that to understand each other. I may be a brony who is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, but I am proud of it because the show has given me an opportunity to grow, learn, and see the light to bring love and tolerance to the world as an activist. The more creativity and happiness produced in the community, the better the world becomes for you. There is no need to hide.

***

Robbie Ierubino is a 20-year old American with Autism studying Graphic Design at Staffordshire University in Stoke-on-Trent, England. He has developed his own style he calls “shapism.” Shapism is a collection of shapes creating a minimalist body in different metamorphic forms through the use of colors, imagery, typography, and light. Through this form of visual communication, each piece is explained through its title.

MY SOCIAL MEDIA:

Official website: http://ierubino.com/
DeviantArt: https://www.deviantart.com/robbieierubino
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rierubinojr/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/robbieierubino/
Tumblr: http://rierubino.tumblr.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/rierubinojr

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