When asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, many may say illustrator and author but few achieve that goal. But Trenton McBeath, better known world-wide by his pen name, T.L. McBeth, was able to do just that – with a little inspiration from a favorite Findlay location. Trenton McBeath didn’t know he always wanted to be an author or illustrator, just that he wanted to create. At one time wanted to be an animator at Disney, then to make video games. But eventually he decided to wanting to make books and art. To do that he used all the resources at his disposal. He leaned on his great art teachers at Findlay High School and the University of Findlay that encouraged his dream. And he also became a frequent visitor, and eventually volunteer, at the Mazza Museum.
Trenton says that the Mazza had a huge influence on him, citing specifically the conferences hosted by the museum and being able to hear from world-renowned authors and illustrators that served as a major inspiration to pursue his career. Trenton used to bring a sketch book to the conferences and artists would sign and doodle in it. He still looks through it and thinks about all the wonderful people he has had the opportunity to meet because of the Mazza.
Although Trenton has now moved to New York City to kickstart his career, his hometown still holds a special place in his heart, especially the Mazza Museum. He still enjoys visiting the museum, especially to see work from some of his favorite artists, Hardie Gramatsky and H.A. Rey. Dietsch Brothers in Downtown Findlay is always a must-stop for every visit to town to get his favorite – a strawberry milkshake. Trenton also hopes to soon share his hometown in his work. Although he hasn’t had a chance yet, he hopes to start incorporating Findlay landmarks in his future books
Published Author and Illustrator
Growing up, Trenton always found himself drawing robots, so it is fitting that same robot character has his own book, Robot in Love, which was published in December. It is even more fitting that Robot is the titular character in Trenton’s author debut. Trenton’s infatuation with robots, and specifically Robot the character, is chronicled on his Instagram, beginning with a drawing from 2003 through a school project to paintings, sculptures, and more until he became fully formed in book-form as Robot in Love.
While Robot in Love is the first published book Trenton serves as both the author and illustrator, it is not the first book he has worked on. He is the illustrator for both Stegothesarus and The Missing Donut, part of the Big Words Small Stories series. And Trenton has a lot of projects coming up. He will have three new picture books coming out in 2019 and three additional to be published in 2020, several of which are already available for pre-order. Locally, you can pick up Trenton’s published works at the Mazza Museum’s Gift Shop and Smarty Pants in Downtown Findlay, where Trenton had a special launch party for Robot in Love in December. For any aspiring young authors or artists, Trenton encourages them to go for it and take advantage of resources like the Mazza where you can learn and get connected.
“If you are interested in art or writing, you should go for it! There are so many great resources in Findlay like the Mazza where you can learn and get connected, and you don’t necessarily have to move to a big city to have a successful career in the arts.”
Quick Fire Findlay Favorites
- Best thing about the Findlay and Hancock County community? How Findlay supports the Arts
- Favorite thing to do in Hancock County? Visit the Mazza!
- Favorite event? The Hancock County Fair, I always loved it as a kid
- Favorite local restaurant? Logan’s Irish Pub
- Favorite local treat/guilty pleasure? Fort Findlay Donuts are my favorite
Fun Facts about Trenton
- Hometown: Hometown: Findlay, OH
- One wish from a Genie: Infinite wishes.
- If you had to start a new job totally different than your current one, what would you choose? Chef, I really enjoy cooking.
- Favorite winter activity: Sitting by a warm fire.
- Favorite TV Show: The Good Place
You can keep up-to-date with Trenton’s upcoming projects, and see the latest updates on his website, TLMcBeth.com. Trenton is also on Instagram and Twitter. Trenton will be at the University of Findlay’s Alumni Memorial Union on February 3 from 4 – 6 p.m., following Funday Sunday. Register for the program here!
Learn more about other community members through our Live like a Local series!