Joe Whale was discouraged from doodling in class but found his calling when a restauranteur found his work online.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on November 5, 2019. It has since been updated.
Sometimes, children discover their talents early on. Unfortunately, our education systems aren't always developed in a way that fuels these passions. When kids are taught to put their heads down and complete their math homework, there usually isn't enough time to focus on other interests, especially the arts. We all know that the arts aren't valued as much as they should be in schools and other educational institutions. So when nine-year-old Joe Whale was caught, on multiple occasions, doodling in his notebooks during class, he got into quite a bit of trouble. He was constantly reprimanded by his teachers and told to focus on his lessons. However, little Joe prevailed. Now, he's landed his very first job decorating a restaurant with his doodles, Metro.co.uk reports.
One of the reasons Joe kept at his doodles is that he has a set of really supportive parents. Rather than shutting him down and forcing him to comply with his teachers' instructions, his parents were his biggest fans and wished to encourage his creativity. So much so that they enrolled him in an after-school class where he could learn more about art and improve his own skills. His art teacher recognized his talent and decided to post pictures of some of his work on the social media platform Instagram. This is when something truly amazing happened.
The owners of Number 4, a restaurant in the area, stumbled upon Joe's work through his art teacher's Instagram profile. Impressed by his doodles, the owners contacted the art teacher and asked if he could stop by in order to decorate the restaurant's dining room with his adorable drawings. Needless to say, Joe and his family were overjoyed by the request. Now that Joe's family and the restaurant have come to an agreement, Joe's father Greg drives him to the restaurant after school every day where he draws doodles across the interior walls. Once his work is complete, the nine-year-old's drawings will remain there permanently.
In an interview with Metro.co.uk, dedicated dad Greg shared, "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... 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." Joe's story is a good example of how a little bit of encouragement can go a really long way. Keep doodling, Joe!