The boy made complete use of his interest in toys.
Many of us have spent an enormous amount of time playing with our toy collections and worked on our various hobbies during our childhood. But, a 12-year-old has taken his hobby and interest in car models to another level when he was able to launch a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of $20,000. With ten days left in the campaign, Anthony was able to cross his initial goal by collecting $43,467. "Anthony Schmidt is a 12-year-old boy on the autism spectrum with a passion for collecting and photographing model cars so they look life-sized,” the Kickstarter description states.
"From an early age, his passion for cars was evident. He began collecting miniatures, seeking ever more realistic models that accurately capture the beautiful details of their real-life counterparts," it continues. Along with his love for car models, he is also an aspiring photographer, mainly interested in miniature pictures. Anthony started using his mother’s iPhone to capture pictures of his toy cars, focusing more on framing the images so as to make it look more realistic and life-sized. "These photos quickly became popular on social media, gaining thousands of followers who’ve been inspired by his ability to find a unique outlet for creative expression despite facing significant challenges," stated the campaign page.
The impressive pictures clicked by the boy were loved by people and that prompted him to sell the prints of his work by starting an online store. On his site, you can also buy the 2020 calendar for only $15. This 12-year-old boy is not willing to stop with just this, he is planning to release a coffee table book with the help of the Kickstarter campaign. By the huge success rate of the campaign, this book will soon see the light of day. "I’m just your typical hard-working mom whose focus is her kids. Anthony is a charming boy who loves collecting diecast cars and taking photos of them outside so they look life-sized."
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"He has a little brother, Alex, who is 6 years old, who also loves cars almost as much as he loves his big brother Anthony,” his mother told Bored Panda. "Anthony has autism. For him, that means a lot of things we take for granted are extremely difficult for him. For example, his senses are turned way up—smells, sights, sounds are often too much for him, but it also means he sees details that others don’t notice," his mother said of her son’s condition. "That’s why he’s able to create these amazing pictures of his miniature cars. It’s truly a window into the way he sees."
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Anthony’s passion for cars started when he was around six. "The first words he said when he began to speak were the makes and models of cars," she noted. His parents feel that his newfound passion for miniature photography has not only broadened his artistic world but his social life as well. His mother says that he started communicating his feelings through the pictures and even began having conversations with people and proudly shows them his Instagram account of his works. "This hobby for him has been a way to deal with the daily challenges of autism."
"He’s extremely calm and happy when he’s either working on the cars, displaying them or out taking photos," Anthony’s mom explained. "He draws inspiration from real life—he enjoys making things look as real as possible. He loves history and also enjoys making things era-specific. If he’s taking photos of an old car, he likes to make it look like a step back in time," she added. His mother also talked about his habits and how frequently he does photoshoots. "He takes photos every single day. He always brings cars with him wherever he goes. Most of the time there is no big set up, he just sees a spot he thinks is special and starts shooting."
When his mother was asked how it all started and about his new-found fan base, she explained, "I first started sharing his photos in July 2019 in our local Woodinville Neighbors Facebook group and he quickly became a local celebrity. I never expected the public would like his photos as much as they do. As a mother, everything your kid does is amazing." "When he started to gain this huge following, I was pleasantly surprised that I’m not the only one who thinks he’s awesome." As for starting the campaign, she wanted to keep her child's incredible photos in a coffee table book as precious memories.
“I reached out to the dad of a local boy who also has autism and wrote a book, Tyler McNamer,” the mother shared. "He explained to me that the best way to start up self-publishing a book was to do a Kickstarter to launch the book in presale. The Kickstarter is doing very well, better than we hoped. As you can imagine, a lot goes into the designing and the printing of a book, so we are thrilled to see people value the idea of this project as much as we do," she concluded.