+
drawing, animals, autism

Trent takes requests for animal drawings and creates them with no mistakes.

Some people are born with a knack or natural talent for certain things, from sports to music to math to art. At some point, it becomes hard to differentiate between people who are highly trained and people who are naturally gifted, but occasionally a person's innate abilities are abundantly clear.

Such is the case with Trent, a 24-year-old artist who has gathered a huge following with his on-request animal mash-up drawings. Trent has over a million followers on TikTok. He also has level 3 autism, which impacts his ability to communicate and necessitates help and support with day-to-day functioning. Trent's parents are his caregivers, and they use TikTok to help Trent share his art, champion his work and answer people's questions about autism.


Autistic people sometimes have unique talents, which can manifest as special abilities in memory, math, music, spatial awareness and more. Trent's parents say he started drawing at as soon as he could hold a pencil. He used to draw on everything—walls, furniture, toys, as well as paper—and his favorite thing to draw is animals. His parents nurtured and encouraged this love of drawing, and when you see how effortlessly he draws people's animal mash-up requests, you can see why.

In a recent video, Trent drew a "disco zebra with an afro," a "boxing gorilla" (which he interpreted a bit differently) and a "tiger butterfly." Watch:

@drawingsbytrent

Check out Trent’s art and merch in his store! #autistic #artist #fyp #trenttok

No pencil sketches. No erasing. No re-doing. Trent is able to draw what he sees in his mind's eye, using a permanent marker to make a line drawing of it in seconds. It's mesmerizing to watch.

People have asked if Trent ever makes a mistake and starts over. His dad says no.

"We have never seen him, in 24 years, crumple up a piece of paper and throw it away and start over," he says.

Very seldomly, he'll draw a line and then shift his idea, never going back to incorporate that line. But otherwise, he just draws.

Check out the recent drawings he's been doing of groups of animals with different facial expressions:

@drawingsbytrent

Reply to @melissabolos #autism #artist #fyp #trenttok

Trent doesn't always use a Sharpie—he usually draws in pen. (Why use a pencil if you don't make mistakes?)

@drawingsbytrent

Real time #trentsview #artist #artistsoftiktok #asd #autism #fyp #foryoupage

And his drawings can get really interesting and creative as well. For instance, here it looks like he made the animals wear their noses and snouts as hats:

@drawingsbytrent

#trenttok #autisticartist #fyp

Trent has been impressing people with his cartoon animal drawings for many years. This video of him drawing chalk animals on the family trampoline went viral in 2017:

Trent now has a coloring book, a children's book (written by his parents and illustrated by Trent), and greeting cards for sale. The Drawings by Trent website also sells t-shirts and explains the purpose of the online store:

"At Drawings by Trent we want to encourage families to help their children achieve their full potential, educate communities on the important role individuals of all skill and ability levels play, and inspire everyone to discover and use their own talents. Part of accomplishing those objectives involves helping Trent become a productive member of society while doing something he loves (that's what we all want, right?). When you purchase a piece of Trent's art you are not only supporting him, you're giving families hope."

It's great when anyone gets to do what they love and get recognized for it. Check out the Drawings by Trent TikTok channel for more.


Health

A child’s mental health concerns shouldn’t be publicized no matter who their parents are

Even politicians' children deserve privacy during a mental health crisis.

A child's mental health concerns shouldn't be publicized.

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.


It's an unspoken rule that children of politicians should be off limits when it comes to public figure status. Kids deserve the ability to simply be kids without the media picking them apart. We saw this during Obama's presidency when people from both ends of the political spectrum come out to defend Malia and Sasha Obama's privacy and again when a reporter made a remark about Barron Trump.

This is even more important when we are talking about a child's mental health, so seeing detailed reports about Ted Cruz's 14-year-old child's private mental health crisis was offputting, to say it kindly. It feels icky for me to even put the senator's name in this article because it feels like adding to this child's exposure.

When a child is struggling with mental health concerns, the instinct should be to cocoon them in safety, not to highlight the details or speculate on the cause. Ever since the news broke about this child's mental health, social media has been abuzz, mostly attacking the parents and speculating if the child is a member of the LGBTQ community.

Keep ReadingShow less
Science

Dyslexic plumber gets a life-changing boost after his friend built an app that texts for him

It uses AI to edit his work emails into "polite, professional-sounding British English."

via Pixabay

An artist's depiction of artificial intelligence.

There is a lot of mistrust surrounding the implementation of artificial intelligence these days and some of it is justified. There's reason to worry that deep-fake technology will begin to seriously blur the line between fantasy and reality, and people in a wide range of industries are concerned AI could eliminate their jobs.

Artists and writers are also bothered that AI works on reappropriating existing content for which the original creators will never receive compensation.

The World Economic Forum recently announced that AI and automation are causing a huge shake-up in the world labor market. The WEF estimates that the new technology will supplant about 85 million jobs by 2025. However, the news isn’t all bad. It also said that its analysis anticipates the “future tech-driven economy will create 97 million new jobs.”

The topic of AI is complex, but we can all agree that a new story from England shows how AI can certainly be used for the betterment of humanity. It was first covered by Tom Warren of BuzzFeed News.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 04.15.19


On May 28, 2014, 13-year-old Athena Orchard of Leicester, England, died of bone cancer. The disease began as a tumor in her head and eventually spread to her spine and left shoulder. After her passing, Athena's parents and six siblings were completely devastated. In the days following her death, her father, Dean, had the difficult task of going through her belongings. But the spirits of the entire Orchard family got a huge boost when he uncovered a secret message written by Athena on the backside of a full-length mirror.

Keep ReadingShow less

Famous writers shared their book signing woes with a disheartened new author.

Putting creative work out into the world to be evaluated and judged is nerve-wracking enough as it is. Having to market your work, especially if you're not particularly extroverted or sales-minded, is even worse.

So when you're a newly published author holding a book signing and only two of the dozens of people who RSVP'd show up, it's disheartening if not devastating. No matter how much you tell yourself "people are just busy," it feels like a rejection of you and your work.

Debut novelist Chelsea Banning recently experienced this scenario firsthand, and her sharing it led to an amazing deluge of support and solidarity—not only from other aspiring authors, but from some of the top names in the writing business.

Keep ReadingShow less