LOOK: This Filipino Artist With Autism Is Turning Thousands of His Artworks Into NFTs

Vico Cham 1

Photo / Catch21

Vico Cham

Photo / Vico Cham

Vico Cham 2

Photo / Vico Cham

His latest recognition was particularly memorable: Vico became the first Filipino to win in the international 2019 Paralym Art World Cup with his “Kadal Tahaw” piece.

Vico Cham’s awards

2013 — NO. 1 EMPLOYEE, from Project Inclusion Network


2014 — Vico Cham’s “CLOWN FISH” won for the Philippines in Autism Trust Foundation, Dubai

2015 — Apolinario Mabini Award for PWD OF THE YEAR and MODEL EMPLOYEE

2016 — HONORARY AWARDEE FOR VISUAL ARTS, ANCA (Autistic Network of Community Achievers), Vancouver

2016 — ANGELS AWARD, from Autism Society Philippines


2017 — Nomination for EXCELLENCE IN VISUAL ARTS, SENIA (Special Education Network and Inclusion Asia), Yokohama

2017 — One of the six HANDPAINTING ARTIST ON PINYA at the Fashion for Hope, New York, organized by Fashion Arts Autism Benefit of Autism Hearts Foundation

2018 — TOP 50 FINALIST Paralym Art World Cup with his entry “SINULOG”

2019 — GAWAD RIZAL, from the Lyceum Philippines for Excellence in Visual Arts

2019–3RD PLACE Paralym Art World Cup with his entry “KADAL TAHAW”; First Filipino to win in the international competition

Vico’s seemingly endless creative energy has not only translated into wonderful world-class works of art that were meant for public consumption but has also unintentionally created beauty in the most mundane of moments. Introducing, “Shoebox Sketches.”

Vico Cham 3

Photo / Vico Cham

The discovery of the Shoebox Sketches: going “phygital”

Even before Vico’s “Blue’s Clues,” Vico had always loved to sketch on scratch paper. His sketches involve stick art of different people he’d see throughout his day and collected in shoeboxes by his mom, Cathy.

As it turns out, this collection of sketches that Vico has been quietly working on for the past few decades might be one of the most significant pieces of his career.

“Shoebox Sketches” now numbers in the thousands, spans decades, and continues to grow organically to this very day, as Vico draws these sketches on his time off every day. These sketches offer a glimpse into how Vico’s evolved throughout the years but also how he’s somehow found a way to stay consistently true to his unique style.

And in true Vico Cham fashion, this latest collection explores a new medium: NFTs. The choice of digitally adapting these sketches into the metaverse was an easy one to make and one look at the collection perfectly explains why.

The sketches are of a large volume with one cohesive style, all with their own unique traits. While the sketches are all of the same theme, none of them are exactly the same.

In a world where rarity and unique characteristics are valued, this collection fits right in. It’s as if these sketches were made specifically to be on the blockchain. Except they weren’t.

While most large NFT collections are generated by algorithms, the shoebox sketches are all hand-drawn. Even the intent to create unique pieces to form a large collection was non-existent. It was just a young boy’s way to pass the time and unleash his creative energy.

To say that the sketches were made for NFTs would be grossly inaccurate. Rather, it’s almost as if these works were waiting patiently for the right medium to find their home.

The “Shoebox Sketches” will be sold as “phygital” pieces, NFTs with a physical counterpart. In addition, six paintings entitled “Cleopatra” will be sold with the collection. Future utility for Vico Cham NFT holders are also planned in the future, with access to giveaways of Vico’s past works as possible benefits for token holders. Proceeds of the sale will benefit Vico’s Artism Gallery and the No One in Need Movement Foundation.

Vico Cham