Robert Trent was born in Weymouth on 21 April 1959. He has suffered from arthrogryposis since birth, an illness characterised by multiple stiffening of the joints and muscle defects. After attending Chailey Heritage School and Hereward College he eventually graduated with a BSc in Information Systems. In 1985 he started working as an IT analyst at Southampton General Hospital. Later, he became an information risk analyst with Ordnance Survey in Southampton and was promoted to Senior Information Risk Manager in 1994. Robert took up mouth painting in his search for a rewarding life-work balance.