I am Robert John “Robbie” Ierubino, Jr., a US-born, autistic artist who emigrated to Vienna, Austria, when I was 14. I hold a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) degree in Graphic Design and a Master of Arts in Arts and Creative Technologies both from Staffordshire University in Stoke-on-Trent, England. I have completed a graphic design internship with the wendy.network and at the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) in Vienna, Austria. But today, I find myself on a new creative journey to incorporate music production and DJ performance with these graphic skills - offering a multi-sensory experience.
As an artist, I have always liked creating different types of designs. When I was younger, I loved to create my own versions of album covers, stage layouts for concerts, and logos for movie production companies. In high school, I became interested in different art forms during my classes and voyages around Europe. I was especially attracted to street art and cubism. As a real lover of pop culture, I am inspired by all media types, including television, movies, logos, and music. I enjoy traveling and exploring different cities and countries; their architecture and landscapes intrigue me.
I am autistic. Throughout my entire life, I faced many challenges that “typical” kids do not. It took me a long time to speak as a child, and communication is still difficult. Because of my autism, I struggle with verbal communication. Talking with people and writing my thoughts are difficult because it is hard for me to find the right words. Through my art, I feel free. I think autism has given me a unique perspective, and I hope it comes through in my art. As my senses are always on high alert, my understanding of the world around me may differ from others. For example, when I hear music, I see pictures in my head. Or, when I think of a movie, I can see it and listen to it playing in my mind. Sometimes, these constant bombardments are unwelcome and may overwhelm me.
I use many different themes in my artwork: pop, abstract, cubic, symbolism, photography, and silhouettes, and I try to implement graphic design elements. Most of my art is about my life, sharing my visions, memories, emotions, and interests with the world. Most of my work is created using modern technologies like my phone and computer. I continually search for inspiration and ideas and use many applications depending on my mood. Like most people, I love always having my phone with me. I grab it whenever my surroundings inspire me. It allows me to capture a scene with photography, express myself in a poem or song, or even create some designs on the spot.
During my masters studies, I focused on the influential aspects of moving images and visual effects from graphic design. My submitted proposal for the MA program identifies the development of works via software programming and incorporating design aspects within the realms of Extended Reality (XR). If you don’t know what XR means, it is an umbrella term for technologies incorporating Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Realities. My MA course experience was both fun and challenging. Still, I would also like to work with the creative industries to better myself and, hopefully, help create the awe-inspiring works the world expects.
Looking back on my art and designs, I noticed that shapes have always been prominent. Repeatedly, these geometric shapes - often within other shapes - kept appearing. I love these shapes and have titled this style “Shapism.” In my world, Shapism is a mix of figures creating a minimalist body in different metamorphic forms: color, image, tone, and typography. I like to provide clues into my thought process when naming pieces, but I also enjoy viewers using their imagination to interpret their meaning.
However, I noticed that my works always incorporated sound. And, while watching a virtual exhibition from London’s Design Museum titled ELECTRONIC: From Kraftwerk to the Chemical Brothers during Christmas break in 2021, I thought about producing electronic music because I believe creating these types of songs would be easy to express since we now have some “free” digital audio workstations (DAWs) and that music is the highly engaging art world to the general public. My stage moniker "NerualMaker" is based on the scientific study of the autistic brain and what the neurodiverse can provide. After taking online classes, such as deadmau5’s MasterClass series, and while producing my debut album, Turn on, Tune In, Drop Out, I discovered my primary genre is electronica. Electronica is an umbrella term for various genres of electronic music built with samples, synthesizers, and drum machines. Whether it’s dance music or not, I find it very expressive to produce and enjoyable to perform. So, as a newly developed electronica music producer, I am interested in collaborating with musicians, bands, and producers to support their music-making. But also, as a motion graphic artist, I would like to create album art, tour visuals, and music campaigns for them.
My works put a modern spin on the inspiration drawn from many artists, designers, musicians, and other occupants throughout the history of creativity and various styles. Through my creative works, I want people to learn to accept differences, sincerely feel and show empathy for others, share memories, find common interests, and treat others fairly.
I hope my creativity provokes an emotional response.