Autism does not create a disability, it creates a tremendous abilty!
In today’s world, social programming and platforms have pretty much taken over people’s lives. It’s a way to connect to a variety of subjects, sights, people and more. Some of what is available is fun, some educational and some inspiring. The people you can meet cover every range you can think of. So, while all this attention to these various platforms occupies a large part of life for many, there are some tremendous benefits.
For me, one of those benefits came about six months ago when I came across Anthony Ryan Schmidt on Facebook. Seeing a post of his the very first time just blew me away and I was hooked on what this young man is all about, the talents he possesses and what he is giving the world through his website and postings on various social platforms and an education into autism. In the past six months I have watched his fandom continue to grow (over 2.5 million followers worldwide and climbing) and the continuing inspiration he brings to people of all ages. Meet Anthony Ryan Schmidt.
Anthony lives in Woodinville, Washington which part of the Seattle metro area. He is an avid collector of die cast models of cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc. from every year, decade and century and now has over 3,500 and continues to grow. He lives with his mother, grandmother and little brother and does everything from home and the surrounding towns and locations. Anthony is on the autistic spectrum and has microphonia autism. That is a form of autism where he is very sensitive to all kinds of every day sounds that you and I take for granted, paper rattling, sounds of engines, people chewing, etc. and it can often get a person with this form of autism very upset, panicky, angered and unsettled. However, Anthony has found ways to combat it and when you see him, listen to him talk and see what it is he does that has made him so popular you would never know he is autistic. As we mentioned he is a model car collector who has turned this passion into a growing business with his talent of “forced perspective photography” that is simply incredible.
This means that in all his photos, both color and black and white (I love the black and white shots), the backgrounds and settings are all real and full size, but all the cars are just regular die cast models and he creates full sized images with his creative photographic talents. He also selects all the music himself for the various video clips and his mom handles the video camera. All of this has earned him accolades not only from fans and purchasers of his products from all over the world, but from professional photographers, special effects people in Hollywood, classic car club members and even the president of General Motors among them.
He began doing this when he was just six years old and marketed a self produced calendar in 2022 and the latest one for 2023, of which I ordered four of them. It is now in its third printing and you can still order it. He did a coffee table book a couple of years ago about his earlier years titled “Small Cars, Big Inspirations” that has done well and now has a second coffee table book “Shifting Perspectives” coming out this month, which I have also ordered. He also has framed photos, greeting cards and other items available on his website. He has an encyclopedic mind when it comes to the knowledge of ever car he owns. With the help of his mother and grandmother doing all of the packaging and mailing out of the calendars, books, etc. all over the country and world, it is all done right from their home. As you can see from the few photos in this piece, Anthony is an incredibly talented young man who has not, as we said in the lead in, let his autism become a disability but rather a tremendous ability to create something that makes people smile and feel good.
He has been the subject of various magazine articles, local TV features, even highlighted on the NBC Nightly News and other network feeds. He has gained the respect and fandom of classic car clubs around the country. He even owns a black 1959 Studebaker Silver Hawk that he bought from a local classic car dealership with funds from his growing business. In May he will be inducted into the Hall of Honor in Las Vegas for his contributions in the model toy world along with Shaquille O’Neal and actor Keanu Reeves among others. I could go on about Anthony because there is so much more to tell about this truly amazing young man, but I think you get the idea. Please, please go to his website: anthonyryanschmidt.com and check out everything from products to photos plus the stories about this young man and his life. There are also a number of videos on You Tube and Tik Tok as well that can give you even more about him.
He is a true inspiration to people of all ages with a God given gift and deserves all of the accolades that have come his way and will continue. In addition he, and his mom, are also educating people about the autism spectrum as well, for which we should all be grateful. From being a local kid with autism and a love of automobiles to a worldwide figure who has so much to offer, this is just the beginning for Anthony. Following his journey is going to be just as much a fun ride as it will be taking one in that Silver Hawk. Please check him out and I promise, you will become a fan just as I did. Thank you.
Art Koch, National Features & DVD Editor, NightMoves Magazine and AAN