DOODLEBUG, 10, DRAWN TO FAME.
Byline: JACK EVANS News Reporter
MIDLAND schoolboy Joe Whale used to get into trouble in class for doodling when he got bored. The 10-year-old was sent to an after-school arts club by his parents to try to channel his passion. And now he has started a new chapter in his life - after being offered a lucrative global book deal.
His art teacher was so impressed by his fun sketches that she asked his parents if she could put them on Instagram.
That work soon attracted an army of fans around the world, leading him to be nicknamed 'The Doodle Boy'.
Last year, a local restaurant hired him to create a huge mural on the wall of their dining room.
And this week a US publisher has asked him to illustrate a series of three childrens' books, the first of which will be published worldwide in the new year.
"It feels very good. I'm really proud of myself," says Joe, who spends hours doodling on the walls of his parents' home in Shrewsbury.
"It's one of the things I've always wanted to do. "I've seen all the illustrated books in stores and it will be amazing to have my own on the shelves.
"The main thing I draw is scenes - those are my favourite. I love drawing beaches and forests and that sort of stuff.
"I have a few characters in my doodles but my focus is on monsters and aliens.
"I spend one or two hours a day drawing - sometimes more - when I wake up in the morning, near lunchtime and in the afternoon.
"I have always drawn all my life since I was two or three years old.
"I started doodling when I was six or seven, when I wanted to change my style. It has worked out really well.
"I definitely want to be an artist. It is one of the most relaxing things I do.
"When I'm angry, I go to my room and start doodling. It makes me feel happy."
The young artist, who now has a book agent in Los Angeles, recently spent a week in the States illustrating the set of TV show Little Big Shots.
"My dad asked if I wanted to do it," says Joe. "I was like 'Dad, of course I want to do it!' "Since then, that's pushed me to do what I love, and I think that's sort of what I'm going to do.
'"I definitely want to be an artist. When I'm angry, I go to my room and start doodling. It makes me feel happy...
| Schoolboy art star Joe Whale surrounded by his doodles