Nine-year-old who got in trouble for doodling in class gets hired to decorate a restaurant

Photo: The Doodle Boy / Instgram
Photo: The Doodle Boy / Instgram 

As many parents can attest, it's every small child's dream to draw on walls. Unlike errant toddlers though, nine-year-old Joe Whale, was given express permission to draw all over the walls of a UK restaurant. The talented boy was asked to decorate the dining room of a new Number 4 outlet in Shrewsbury, using his significant artistic flair.

Joe's dad Greg says his son showed artistic promise from a very early age, telling Bored Panda that Joe and his identical twin brother Jesse were both identified as "gifted" at age four.

The Doodle Boy as Joe is now known, used to get into trouble for doodling on his books in class, so rather than scold his son, Mr Whale put him in after school art classes, where Joe could fully explore his art. Joe still doodles all over his notebooks, however.


Face Mania

A post shared by The Doodle Boy ( on

It was when an art teacher posted Joe's Tom Gates-inspired work on Instagram that his work got noticed by Number 4 restaurant management and Joe ended up with his very first job.

He was invited to adorn the walls with his quirky black-line graphics and his father drove him to the restaurant each day after school until it was finished. The artwork took 12 hours in total.



A post shared by The Doodle Boy ( on

"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," said Mr Whale.

"I asked Joe and he, of course, leaped 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."


Just where does this creativity come from, and does he plan the drawings?

Mr Whale wrote in a post that, "Joe does have books where he puts down his ideas when he has them, but I would say 80 per cent of this has just been off the top of his head."


#Doodleprojectday7 #projectcomplete 🙌🏼

A post shared by The Doodle Boy ( on

Mr Whale and mum Vanessa are over the moon about their son's unique opportunity.

"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."

Follow Joe and his art on Instagram and Facebook.

Photo: Greg Whale

Greg and Vanessa with their children Joe, Jesse and Phoebe. Photo: Greg Whale