At just nine years old, Joe Whale is a prolific doodler. For years, he has been filling his notebooks with drawings of faces, monsters, and anything else that his imagination can conjure. His parents have always encouraged him in his doodling pursuits, but not everyone has been as thrilled with it. Whale has gotten in trouble with his teachers for drawing during class. Recognizing that he was bursting with creativity, his parents decided to send him to an after-school art class. There, the teacher saw Whale’s innate talent and posted his work on Instagram—then something special happened to this artistic kid.
Number 4, a restaurant in Whale’s town of Shrewsbury, saw the work that his teacher had shared. They invited him to come to their establishment and decorate the dining room with his drawings. Whale leapt at the chance to illustrate their walls, and he’s done so with completely original artwork. Every day after school, his dad would drive him to Number 4 where he would doodle with a marker for a couple of hours. “Joe does have books where he hits down his ideas when he has them,” his dad, Greg, explains, “but I would say 80% of this has just been off the top of his head.”
After many weeks of working on the hand-drawn mural, Whale completed his sprawling artwork. He hasn’t, of course, stopped doodling since then. Scroll down to see his illustrations and follow him on Instagram—where he’s known as The Doodle Boy—to see where his drawings will take him next.