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Nine-Year-Old's Doodling Habit Lands Him A Gig Drawing On A Restaurant's Walls

Figuring out how to best nurture your child's development to make them a good, well-rounded human being is no easy task.

Every child is different, and it's not always clear how the things they do as kids will translate into skills they'll need as grown-ups. The saving grace to all that is that our parents had just as much trouble with us, and hey, we're still around.

Joe Whale's parents had a pretty clear choice before them, however.

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Their nine-year-old son kept getting into trouble at school for doodling too much when he was supposed to be paying attention to lessons.

It was a situation that was just as tough for Joe as it was for the teacher trying get through a lesson.

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"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," Joe's dad Greg told Metro.

Now, Joe's folks could have dropped the hammer and punished him for doodling, but they chose to go a different route.

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Instead, they enrolled him in an after-school art program.

"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," Greg said.

For them, it was a no-brainer.

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Joe has loved to doodle since he was six, and he has hardly stopped since. So for his folks, it was easy to see where some nurturing might go over well.

But it's hard to imagine that they knew it would turn out as well as it has so far.

It didn't take long for Joe's art teacher to see that he had some talent.

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"I asked his parents for some of his work to assess his level and could not believe what I was looking at," his teacher said. "We moved him into an older class straight away."

"His drawings blew his teacher away," Greg added, "and they gave him his own wall to keep doodling on, which he does every week when he goes there."

And it wasn't just the quality of Joe's work that impressed his teacher.

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"His work is very exact and immaculate," she explained, "it's very balanced, he goes straight to ink and creates perfect work straight from the start, no practicing beforehand."

In fact, his teacher was so impressed with his work that she wanted to share it with the world.

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"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," Greg explained.

For once, exposure for an artist apparently worked!

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"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," Greg said.

The restaurant in question, called Number 4, is a hip, rustic place in their hometown of Shrewsbury.

And Joe didn't hesitate to accept the offer.

"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," Greg said.

Joe draws in permanent marker, and that's just what the intention is — for Joe's drawings to decorate the walls permanently.

LinkedIn | Greg Whale

He has complete creative control over the project — the restaurant is letting him draw whatever he wants to draw.

His success to this point has earned Joe many fans, with his parents at the top of the list.

LinkedIn | Greg Whale

"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," Greg said.

But, if you're nowhere near Shrewsbury, you don't have to go to Number 4 to see all of Joe's work.

LinkedIn | Greg Whale

With plenty of interest in his doodles coming in, Joe's parents set up a website, Facebook page, and Instagram account to share some pics of his work and keep his followers up to date.

And proud poppa Greg couldn't help sharing some images of Joe's work on social media, either.

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Greg posted some of Joe's work on LinkedIn, where it has received more than 2,000 glowing comments and 1.5 million views.

Doodling has brought Joe beyond just Number 4 as well.

As Greg shared on social media, somebody commissioned a piece from Joe, which he recently completed and sent off.

Not bad at all for a kid who was supposed to stop doodling in class!

h/t: Metro