Vico Cham, an Award-Winning Artist with Autism, Launches His “Shoebox Sketches” NFT Collection

Vico Cham Shoebox Sketches

Photos / Vico Cham

Vico Cham, an award-winning artist with autism, recently unveiled Shoebox Sketches, a collection of hand-drawn sketches numbering in the thousands, as phygital artworks. In this format, his artworks have both physical pieces and digital NFT counterparts.

The discovery of Shoebox Sketches

Even before Cham’s flourishing art career began, the young artist had always loved to sketch on scratch paper.

As it turns out, this collection of sketches that Cham 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. According to his mother, Cathy Cham, he has been sketching an average of 20 sketches every day and continues to do so, amounting to an estimated 143,000 sketches during his lifetime. Of these 143,000, an estimated 8,000 have been located. Of these 8,000, over 500 have already been digitized and minted as phygital pieces as the first batch of the Shoebox Sketches. The goal of the Chams is to share as many of these sketches with the world.

These sketches offer a glimpse into how Cham’s evolved throughout the years but also illustrate how he’s been able to stay true to his style.

NFTs: the perfect home for Shoebox Sketches

Vico Cham 3

Photo / Vico Cham

The choice of digitally adapting these sketches into NFTs (non-fungible tokens) metaverse was a perfect fit.

For one, Cham’s sketches number in the thousands, retaining one cohesive style but with each image containing its own unique traits. No two are alike. In the NFT space, collections like these are a common sight. For example, apes with different facial features, and accessories make up a famous collection called BAYC.

The different traits of these drawings simulate rarity in the metaverse. The rarer an attribute, the more valuable a piece is perceived.

But there lies a few fundamental differences with Cham’s sketches. While most large NFT collections are generated by algorithms, the shoebox sketches are all hand-drawn.

Secondly, Cham’s works were never primarily intended for web3. Entire NFT projects have been mounted and funded by millions of dollars of funding, backed by hype and promotional machinery that would make the likes of Google blush. Rather, the sketches were meant as an outlet for Cham: as a way for him to pass the time in between his painting sessions and work (Cham is also an employee of Unilab Foundation). With nothing more than his pens, bond papers, and a whole lot of time, Cham was able to unwittingly create an art collection that would eventually become the NFT pieces they are today.

A tale of two collections: the Cleopatra Series

Vico Cham 2

Photo / Vico Cham

The Shoebox Sketches will be sold as phygital pieces — NFTs with a physical counterpart. Each purchase of a Shoebox Sketch NFT will also come with the physical sketch mounted on an 8 x 3-inch acrylic sandwich frame.

In addition to the sketches, another collection called the “Cleopatra Collection” will be sold as NFTs backed by physical paintings.

Exclusive benefits for Vico Cham NFT holders

As if getting limited edition NFTs with physical artwork wasn’t enough, all Vico Cham NFT holders will also receive exclusive benefits such as airdrops/giveaways, exclusive content, and other fun stuff. So if you’re an avid collector of Vico Cham’s works, this is your chance to be able to win some amazing prizes from the artist!

Both collections will be listed on Rarible.com for the public on October 11, 2022.

View and buy the collections here:


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