By William Lailey and Dan Coles
A schoolboy who was always being told off for doodling in his workbooks has had the last laugh – after one businessowner thought his drawings were so good he asked him to decorate his restaurant with a wall full of his doodles.
Little Joe Whale 9, from Shrewsbury, Shrops, kept getting himself into trouble for doodling once he’d finished his work during his classes at school, so his parents, Greg Whale, 40, and Vanessa Jameson, 36, sent him to an after school art class to channel his creative passion.
After joining the art club, his teacher noticed he had a gift and posted his work all over her Instagram for her followers to see.
Soon after the post, Number 4, a restaurant in Shrewsbury, contacted Joe’s teacher and asked if he could come to their building and decorate the dining room, which Joe’s parents agreed to – Joe has now had over 1.5 million views on his dads LinkedIn account and spends his time after school showing a restaurant full of customers his amazing talent.
Dad Greg, a Sales manager, said: “Joe is a really talented little boy, he’s excelling at school, he’s a great footballer and cricketer, but drawing is definitely what he is most passionate about.
“It’s actually quite annoying, he’s better than me at most things.
“He was in school getting frustrated at the little amount of art he could do so he used to doodle on the table’s whiteboard in class and get into trouble for doodling.
“His mum and I decided to get him into an art class outside of school called Bloom, he’s been there for about six weeks and he loves every minute of it.
“His drawings blew his teacher away and they gave him his own wall to keep doodling on which he does every week when he goes there.
“A few weeks into his classes, his teacher asked if she could post his work on her Instagram for everyone to see and a short while later we got another call from her about a restaurant who had seen his work.
“They wanted to get Joe into their restaurant to complete an art piece on their wall, and it was in their main dining area, we were over the moon.
“I asked Joe and he of course leapt at the chance to do it so we have been going there after school where for a couple of hours a night he’ll put his creativity on their wall.
“Joe loves doodling and we’re so proud of everything he’s achieving, the fact that a completely independent business has asked our nine-year old son to do a professional piece of work for them is incredible.
“I posted his work on my LinkedIn because I was so proud of him and he’s had over 1,500,000 views and comments from strangers that are impressed with what he’s doing.”
After getting into trouble at school for doodling over his books, his parents brought Joe to Bloom, at Studio 39, which is run by 45-year-old Art teacher Kerry Jones.
Kerry said: “I first met Joe several weeks ago, he was a bit frustrated at school because he couldn’t doodle as much as he wanted to and had been asked to stop.
“I asked his parents for some of his work to assess his level and could not believe what I was looking at, we moved him into an older class straight away.
“His work is very exact and immaculate, it’s very balanced, he goes straight to ink and creates perfect work straight from the start, no practising beforehand.
“I put his work on my Instagram and had the owner of Number 4 call me to get him in to feature his work in their dining area.”
Joe has been doodling for as long as his parents can remember and now is drawing on an entire wall at Number 4 after the owner requested to feature his work in their restaurant.
After school his dad drives him over to the site where Joe spends a couple of hours putting his ideas on the wall in front of staff and customers, and once finished, the work will remain their permanently.
Greg said: “If he could stay there all night he would, we don’t let him spend too long because he’s only young.
“I think for him it’s just a part of the day where her can focus solely on his drawing without any interruptions.
“We are immensely proud of him and as long as he’s enjoying what he’s doing, we’re going to support him in everything he wants to achieve.”