If you’re a parent, you know how important it is to nurture a child’s creativity.
Joe Whale’s mom and dad have always seen the artist in their son. After all, at 6 years old, he began drawing and fell in love with “making monsters come to life.” Since then, his family has encouraged the creative outlet — even after he started getting in trouble for it.
When complaints about Joe’s doodling began coming from teachers at his school in Shrewsbury, England, the 9-year-old’s parents weren’t upset. They recognized that the sketches were Joe’s way to express himself. So rather than lecture him for not paying attention, they enrolled him in an after-school art class. That’s when his talent really began to flourish!
Stunned by his artwork, his after-school teacher began sharing it on Instagram, where Joe’s talent caught the attention of local restaurant Number Four. The staff thought his style was a perfect fit for the cafe, so they reached out to see if Joe wanted to help decorate their dining room. When Joe’s dad Greg heard about the offer, he said his son “leapt at the chance to do it.”
The project became Joe’s new after-school activity — and his first job! He spent a couple hours every weekday filling the restaurant’s walls with his art. Greg said it took him about 12 hours to finish.
“Joe loves doodling, and we’re so proud of everything he’s achieving,” Greg said. “The fact that a completely independent business has asked our 9-year-old son to do a professional piece of work for them is incredible.”
Clearly, Joe has a bright future ahead of him! This job was the first of many now that people can commission pieces through his website, and we can’t wait to see them! In the meantime, you can check out his work on Facebook or Instagram, where he goes by “Doodle Boy.”
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