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This 12-Year-Old Boy With Autism Creates Big Art With Tiny Cars

A 12-year-old boy with autism and an uncanny talent for photographing miniature cars in detailed settings is hoping to self-publish a book of his art—something he may now be able to now achieve thanks to an extraordinary Kickstarter campaign that raised over $20,000 of its original goal.

“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 says. “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.”

Anthony used the iPhone to take the shots, and he soon gathered a following on social media with thousands of followers from all over the world who have “been inspired by his ability to find a unique outlet for creative expression despite facing significant challenges.”

His passion for cars began when he was around six years old—and actually helped him with his language skills. His mother explained that “the first words he said when he began to speak were the makes and models of cars.”

“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,” she added. “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.”

Anthony’s mom says that his hobby is a way for him to deal with the challenges of autism: “He’s extremely calm and happy when he’s either working on the cars, displaying them, or out taking photos.”

Wanting a more concrete way to display Anthony’s work, his mother reached out to the dad of a local boy, Tyler McNamer, who has autism and wrote a book.

“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,” Anthony’s mom said.

Anthony has an online store where he sells prints of his photographs as well as a 2020 calendar. Hopefully, it will soon include that coffee table book.

Patricia Grisafi

Written by Patricia Grisafi