If you find yourself traveling on the tree-lined Martin Luther King Boulevard on the east side of Portland, Oregon, you’ll come across a creative space by the name of FISK. Started as an extra-curricular project by Bijan Berahimi in 2009 while attending CalArts, the young studio with both a design agency arm and an art gallery side has garnered attention in just a few years working with clients including Facebook, Nike and Uniqlo. They’ve also hosted over a dozen art shows in Portland and Los Angeles, Berahimi’s hometown, featuring artists including Ana Benaroya, Tim Lahan, and most recently, Bráulio Amado.
“It started as a student project, a design collective that made zines, threw parties, and had a website dedicated to creating a design community for students,” says Berahimi. “I thought the project would end when I graduated.” But after his commencement in 2013, he moved to Portland to work for Nike and after a year was presented with the opportunity to be a partner in a retail space with client and collaborator, Beacon Sound (a record label and store). “I signed the lease and didn’t really have a plan. Then I met Michael Spoljaric at Nike, he expressed interest in collaborating on a gallery with me—it made sense for us, he’s been a creative mentor and collaborator ever since.” As the design collective grew in scope, its community-first ethos remained intact. This meant making sure to curate artists for monthly shows in the gallery who weren’t from Portland, specifically artists who didn’t have an outlet outside their commercial work—some of whom come from as far away as Germany and Finland.
With the success the studio and the gallery, the FISK team has now grown to four people, including a copywriter, a designer, and an intern, who are responsible for creating work for commercial clients as well as collaborations with artists. Berahimi’s goal for the future is expand further. “More commercial projects, collaborating with artists, and blurring the lines between those two,” he says.
One of these projects is for the 2017 Harry’s holiday campaign. Berahimi has curated five artists to interpret what the word “handsome” means to them for phone backgrounds, available starting today as part of Give Handsome week—the second in a series of five weeks designed to explore the many diverse ways you can give. The artists will also be creating digital motivational posters to be used during the Give Motivation week of the campaign, launching on December 11th.
To get your background, tap and hold your favorite image(s) and select “Save Image” or “Download Image.”
For more work from FISK, check out fiskprojects.com