Remember the boy who always got in trouble for doodling in class? Well, that same lad who can create awesome illustrations just signed a deal with Nike!
Joe Whale, 12, better known as “The Doodle Boy” on social media, first went viral when a local restaurant in his hometown of Shrewsbury, England, United Kingdom, hired him to decorate their dining area.
Since then, the young artist has worked with several businesses and created his own website, where he sells merchandise. However, Joe may have snagged his biggest deal yet when he signed to work with Nike as a co-creator, his agency revealed.
The company has yet to announce exactly what he will be working on, but they shared that he would be illustrating “on some special projects.”
Joe and his family are ecstatic about his collaboration with the sportswear giant.
“This is one of my dreams,” he said. “Nike is such a big thing and there’ll be loads of fun stuff coming up soon that I’m really excited for. I just keep telling myself, do what you love, do what you love, doodle. It feels very good. I’m really proud of myself.”
Joe started doodling when he was six years old. After constantly getting in trouble at school for drawing in class, his parents sent him to an after-school art club.
His work soon gained attention online after his art teacher started posting his doodles on Instagram.
“We are so very excited to confirm that Joe is now part of the Nike family. It really is a unique relationship that puts Joe’s talent and love of sport together to inspire others to have fun and do what they love,” his agency Loveblood Creative said in an official statement.
In an email, Joe’s father, Gregory Whale, added: “Joe is really excited to join the Nike family, he absolutely loves the brand. It is a dream come true for him as he loves both Sport and creativity and partnering with Nike will give him the opportunity to embrace both.”
To date, Joe has amassed over 135,000 followers on Instagram because of his epic illustrations. But that’s not all.
Last year, Joe held his own solo art exhibition at the Soden Collection, an art gallery in his hometown. His artwork has also been recognized by none other than Prince William and Duchess Catherine when he created an illustration of their royal train tour in December 2020.
The couple shared it on their official Twitter account, where they thanked Joe and encouraged him to continue pursuing his passions. They wrote, “Keep up the great work!”
According to Joe’s website, his favorite things to draw are “food, monsters, and aliens.” Letting his imagination run free, he has even created his own unique characters like “Cool Dog,” “Praying Turtle,” and “Backpack Kid.”
“I have been drawing and painting since the age of three and art has been a huge part of my life,” he wrote on his website.
“I would draw, paint, and do crafts at every opportunity and that hasn’t changed to this day. I pretty much create doodles from anything as I get inspired by my surroundings and create characters from all of the things I see.”
When creating his illustrations, there is one rule that Joe always follows: “There is no right or wrong in art, just interpretation.”
Joe’s first book, Game of Scones—a children’s fiction tale featuring his illustrations—is set to be released later this year.
What the doodleboy in action below: