Chapter 8, Part 3: Static Pony Art
(Please note that any images used in this post are by the artists listed. They are placeholders and I hope to have art expressly drawn for this book to replace these images. If you are interested in submitting something, please see this post.)
SPOILER WARNING! THIS CHAPTER CONTAINS CONTENT THAT IS IN THE SERIES.
IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED, WATCH THE SERIES NOW!
Continued from Brony Video Games
Part III: Static Art
The characters in MLP:FIM have been the drawing subjects of not only the animators of the show, but also bronies. In many fandoms, the fans spend a lot of time and effort re-drawing their favorite characters from the show. They can be copied scenes from the show, or the fans may imagine scenes or poses that they then draw their favorite characters in. This is considered fan art, and it can be anything from a doodle to full-blown, massively detailed images. The media that fans can use are unlimited. Some will be highlighted in this text, but an encyclopedic index of art can be found at http://mlpfanart.wikia.com/. Although there are fan encyclopedias or collectives such as ponibooru or Deviant Art, I find most of my art through blogs that highlight their fancies of the day. Once I find an artist I like, I can go to their deviant art web page and browse other art that they have made. It’s quite fun, but can also eat up so much time if one looks at all the other art by an artist, and the art that they like, and so forth.
One amazing thing that existed in the G1 series were creatures called the Sea Ponies. These were seahorses, but with pony-like heads. They still had teeny bodies and fins, and they liked to sing “Shoo be doo” (42). While most G4 fans think that sea ponies are a bit frightening, John Joseco started a meme where current ponies are drawn as sea ponies. This was popular for a couple of months. (Un)Fortunately, sea ponies not officially made it into Friendship is Magic yet.
Fan art also can be art of either the cartoon characters or original pony characters, as well as either or both types of ponies being crossed over into other genre. These are called mashups. For example, the main My Little Pony cast, as well as fan OCs, have been drawn as characters from Star Wars – wielding lightsabers with mouth, tail, or even their own magic.
Even the Hub has used mashups to promote the show. A billboard near the Valhalla Motion Pictures Building in Los Angeles, showed the pony characters spoofing the film Bridesmaids. Later on, the billboard was replaced with another pony image, this time spoofing Poltergeist.
Anything and everything can be drawn in fan art, and the possibility of not only drawing each separately, but drawing canon and fanon together leads to even more art. It is impossible to see all the MLP fan art that exists: it is generated so quickly and at such an incredible rate of speed.
On the Internet exists fan-made rules about the types of art that exist purely because of the Internet’s ability to share and foster creativity. These are called the ‘rules of the internet’. These rules are randomly numbered and were originally created on the 4chan /b/ image boards. An inspection of these rules provides an effective way to list some ways that My Little Pony has grown online.
For example, Rule 50 applies to the earlier chapter on fan fiction. This rule states that “Cross Over, even improbable ones, will eventually happen in Fan Art and Fan Fiction”. Many crossovers have indeed occurred. Rule 9 states that “there is Touhou fanart of it”. This rule associates an anime style of art to any creation. For ponies, some human characters are drawn in anime styles, but with pony colors and attitudes). Rule 88 expands on that rule and states that there will be ‘furry’ or anthropomorphic characters. In most MLP fan art, ‘anthro’ ponies can be just humans with unicorn horns, or perhaps also with pony ears and a tail. Their facial bone structure may be slightly blended between pony and human, or go one way or the other. They usually stand on two legs, but the legs range from human anatomy to pony legs that that simply stand / walk like humans. Anthropomorphic pony art also may or may not have fingers instead of hooves on hands and / or feet. While the anthro rule is less common, even in the show itself, the ponies do human-like things. In many episodes, ponies do things like write and cook, and ponies wear clothing that is human in origin, such as ice skates or galoshes. Fans gravitated toward this concept and introduced things like socks to fan art. Ponies in socks grew in popularity throughout 2011,a cute bit of wit that artists promoted. Sweaters were also given to ponies, much in the way that dogs wear sweaters. Twilight Sparkle was often depicted by fans as wearing a v neck sweater and glasses, as she is a nerd and the scholarly type.
Rule 85 was created because of My Little Pony. It states that “f it exists, there is a pony of it. No exceptions.” This rule is an amazing thing, and it is quite true. Even Reddit now has an ‘upvote’ pony called Karma. This is a strong example of just how far-flung the pony influence has become. Some art is a bit strange, such as in Rule 63: “For every given male character, there is a female version of that character (and often vice-versa)”. Indeed, though gender swapped ponies are more rare, there are a few bits of art out there. Perhaps this limited amount of hype is because the pony styles from male to female vary so much, or perhaps it is because gender is not such an important aspect of ponies.
Ponies have also been edited into many works of art, including the Famous Shepard Fairey “Hope” poster made for the 2008 US election of Barack Obama. Each pony character was given a catch phrase, as well as being coloured in the faded red- white-and-blues characteristic signature of Fairey’s art. These posters can be seen at Equestria-Election.
Comics are also made with ponies in them. Whether it is a comic strip about ponies or one that makes a reference to ponies, they exist all over the place, both online and in print. There are a few pony web comics, but many smaller, one-shot comics are also submitted. [Does someone have a good example they can put here? I don’t read pony comics….]
The existence of pony Tumblrs is also similar to a formless comic, in that Tumblr responses to fan questions are often ponies drawn acting out the answers. In fact, Tumblrs are steadily gaining popularity. As of the end of 2011, there were over 100 pony Tumblr existence(43), including:
14 for Twilight Sparkle
10 for Pinkie Pie
3 for Pinkamena Diane Pie
5 for Apple Jack
11 for Rainbow Dash
6 for Rarity
17 for Fluttershy
3 for Apple Bloom
5 for Sweetie Belle
7 for Scootaloo
4 for Spike
10 for Princess Celestia
12 for Princess Luna
2 for Night Mare Moon
6 for Big Macintosh
1 for Granny Smith
2 for Silver Spoon
2 for Twist
One for Snips
And one for Snails
3 for Pipsqueak
2 for Zecora
1 for Mr. Carrot Cake
1 for Mrs. Cup Cake
1 for Cherilee
1 for Mayor Mare
1 for Hoity Toity
2 for Trixie
1 or Gilda
3 for Discord
4 for Soarin
4 for Spitfire
1 for Prince Blueblood
There are more Tumblrs made for the background ponies – 62 at last count, as well as Tumblrs that are about multiple ponies, such as Lyra and Bon Bon or the CMC. Then there are Tumblrs that fuse random pony art styles, such as pony blobs, ball ponies, and even the door to Celestia’s treasure room. There are crossover story or concept Tumblrs, and over 50 tumbrls about OC ponies. It’s a massive heap of creative ability, and is nearly too much for me to even summarize!
Static art of any character, scene, or imagined setting can take many forms. Imagine anything that an artist can create, and it can be ponyfied. There is pony art done in pencil, pen, marker, crayon, oil pastel, ink, paint. It is on canvas, on the computer, through painted desks and chalk art on sidewalks. There is pony stained glass windows and ponies on Christmas stockings.
Ponies on vehicles, either as decals on real cars, and or on video game cars, is growing in popularity. Cars can have cutie marks or can be fully decked out with ponies on it. Vanity Plates that say BRONY and RNBWDASH are showing up more ofen. And for guys that don’t want to wear ponies on their sleeve, games like Need For Speed that have custom car mod software also have many pony cars that are racing out there on the interwebz.
There are even re-imaginings of Ponies as other objects. For example, Rarity has been drawn as a marshmallow due to her fluffy white fur coat. For others the comparison may have been made in the show, such as Scootaloo being called a chicken – therefore she is one. Another common re-imagining is Fluttershy as a tree, as she wore vines in her gala dress, and said she wanted to be a tree in Over a Barrel.
Next up… TOY PONIES!
42.) I had one sea pony that I’d take baths with. She even had a life preserver so that she floated upright. She was called Sea Shimmer, and she was an ugly green pony, with a pink turtle-shaped life preserver with matching green spots. I thought she was the bomb.
43.) There are even multiple lists that compile all of these “Ask A Pony” tumblrs.
Posted on February 23, 2012, in Chapters and tagged art, Brony, characters, fan art, fanart, FIM, Friendship is Magic, MLP, MLP: FIM, My Little Pony, Pony, rules of the Internet, tumblr, video. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.