In this “quicc” conversation, the renowned street and graffiti artist talks about his relationship with Johnnie Walker and how it is a dream collaboration come true.
“I know it’s been a busy night for you, so I’ll keep this quick,” I told Quiccs while we were lounging at the back room of Secret Fresh Gallery. Just an hour ago, the celebrated street and graffiti artist revealed the Johnnie Walker Blue Label bottles designed with the evolution of Quiccs’ signature character, TEQ63, to a packed crowd of whisky, street art, and toy enthusiasts.
As expected, there was a long line of media guests who wanted a word or two with the man of the hour; I was (I think) the last one to speak with Quiccs. “Kwentong inuman na lang tayo, para chill,” I told him. (Let’s converse casually over drinks.) “So, what are your drinking habits? What’s your relationship with alcohol?”
It’s a logical question to ask—after all, this is a featured creative in the Johnnie Walker Artist Series that we’re talking about. At the grand reveal of his designs—his first whisky collaboration in his career—Quiccs stressed how this special moment was a dream come true for him, as he has been a fan of the liquor brand’s Artist Series collection for the longest time.
“For years I have dreamt of being one of the artists showcased by Johnnie Walker as I’ve seen their past Artist Series projects, both locally and internationally,” he said. “[It’s an honor] to imprint my own signature artistry into one of the most iconic blended Scotch whiskies in the world with this Artist Series collection.”
But interestingly enough—and this made me pause midway through sipping my glass of Blue Label—he had refreshingly candid things to say about alcohol.
“When I was younger, I thought that all alcoholic beverages tasted the same,” he quipped, noting how any drink, whether inexpensive or luxurious, would all lead to inebriating you anyway. “As I grew older and tasted more spirits, that’s when I got to appreciate the differences of these drinks—their smoothness, aftertaste, and flavors.”
Quiccs admitted that he doesn’t drink as much, but when he decides to do so, he takes his whisky on the rocks. And with liquor like Johnnie Walker Blue Label, he saves them for momentous milestones in his life—just like his collaboration with the whisky brand.
“More than being able to design for Johnnie Walker, this year also marks my tenth year in the industry as an artist, so the timing couldn’t have been better,” he said.
That Quiccs held his Johnnie Walker Artist Series debut and tenth-year celebration at Secret Fresh makes the double celebration even more momentous, as the gallery occupies a special place in his heart.
“I’m grateful to Secret Fresh and Bigboy Cheng, really. He believed in the potential of toys, graffiti art—the things that I love to create, basically—when it wasn’t as popular yet. They’re driving forces in making our industry as popular as it is now.”
As such, Quiccs’ next projects will involve a series of wearables and merchandise in collaboration with Secret Fresh. And as of writing, the Johnnie Walker Blue Label bottles with Quiccs’ exclusive designs are available at all Secret Fresh branches, S&R and exclusively online at Singlemalt.ph and Sugbo Wine.
For Quiccs, these meaningful collaborations are the result of being true to one’s creative spirit and nurturing it with passion. “When you build your art around the things you like, many things can fall into place—refining your creative process, getting like-minded people to support you, and landing opportunities like this.”
Drink responsibly. Visit the DrinkIQ.com site to learn more about alcohol facts.
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