Who We Are
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How this wild idea started
When I was a kid, I constantly lived in my imagination. My passion was inventing, and I came up with ideas for everything from cartoons to squirt guns to even theme parks. After I had invented something I would run to tell my parents, and their reaction was…unusual. They didn't discourage me at all; actually they told me that I should send my ideas to corporations to see if they'd be interested. With their help I wrote business letters and stuffed them into envelopes along with my drawings and schematics. After that, I eagerly waited to hear back.
After a few weeks, the replies started rolling in. Nintendo, Larami (the Super Soaker Corporation), and many others responded. As you might imagine, they politely said something along the lines of "Thanks but no thanks. We can't use your idea because...you're just a kid."
But something remarkable happened a few years later when I was about 12 years old. I was walking through a Toys R Us one day and there on the shelf I saw my idea for a watergun sitting--the same one that I sent to the Super Soaker company. To be clear, I don't think they stole my idea. I think that what probably happened was that an adult had the same idea, and they used it because, well, it came from an adult.
At some point I had a powerful realization. If there had been an adult in my life who had taken my ideas seriously as a child, I would have NEVER questioned my creative powers or ability to invent. If one of those corporations had used just one of my ideas, it would been a powerful incentive to keep going, to keep creating--to keep using my imagination.
I grew up and left Kentucky. I was lucky enough to see some of the world and even live abroad in Europe for a time. But when I found myself back in my hometown after so many years, I remembered what it was like to be a kid. I wanted to provide an outlet for kids like me who had a tremendous passion for creativity but who might not have an adult in their life who takes theirideas seriously.
The Wild Ideas Book Project was conceived as a program that would give kids an exciting opportunity to sit behind the wheel of a professional art project--where they can let their imagination soar and see their ideas come to life at the hands of expert illustrators. Seeing the joy in children's faces was a magical experience for me, and I want to see that happen again.
Now, along with my friends and cohorts, I want to bring the essence of this project to new places. After all, there are kids everywhere with the same passion. Starting in 2016, we will be opening up the program to places far and wide and to children everywhere who dream of cartoons and creativity. Throughout the project we were guided by this principle: "When you invest in the ideas of others, you give them permission to dream."
Jonathan Moore - director
Jonathan Moore is an artist, actor, writer and occasional speaker hailing from Kentucky. Born in a small town, he went on to study literature at Oxford University and animation at Savannah College of Art and Design. An arts enthusiast, he is equally passionate about unleashing the imagination in others--especially children. In 2014, he developed the Wild Ideas Book Project, a unique program designed to give rural kids a powerful outlet for their creativity. He is currently developing other programming that allows children to mastermind their own professional art projects.