Janessa Bork lived a childhood full of experiences that make her the self-proclaimed “wild child” she is today: an active competitive snowboarder, dirt biker and skateboarder. Born in Bend but raised in Bozeman, Montana, Bork spent her days running free, playing outside and absorbing all the beauty that exists in the abundant mountains and forests of Montana.
Her family eventually moved back to Bend, where Bork graduated from Mountain View High School. Since then, she’s moved around but always manages to make it back to Bend. “This is my home, and I love it so much,” Bork said.
Being the child of a rug weaver and an artisan mason, Bork remembers having her creativity cultivated from a young age. “My mom used to help put on summer art camps when I was in grade school and it definitely helped shape my desire to make and create things with my hands,’’ Bork said. “I worked for my dad in the summers doing masonry and construction which taught me a lot about building.”
Fresh out of high school, Bork took a painting class at Central Oregon Community College and met her would-be husband, Josh Ramp. Ramp had just graduated from high school in Alaska and decided to make a new life in Oregon, where he had family. He had dabbled in painting and drawing in high school, and was exploring the subject in Bend in a traditional painting techniques class taught by Professor Bill Hoppe.
“The second we met we were magnetized to one another,” Bork said. “We’ve been together through the thick of it, and it’s really shown our strengths and dedication. We’re far from the perfect couple but we have created our dreams from nothing and stuck to our guns, and I’m so happy it’s starting to pay off.”
The two fresh-faced grads moved to Portland in 2008 to pursue design school together, after Hoppe took note of Bork’s affinity to the arts. After graduating in 2011, the duo worked separately as freelance artists, illustrators and designers, eventually moving back to Bend in 2017 to live the quintessential Central Oregon lifestyle full of high adrenaline sports and ample time spent outside. Bork, in tandem to her art career, had become a snowboarder who is sponsored by Mt. Bachelor, BlackStrap and others.
Graphic design can oftentimes be a job that requires one to sit in front of a computer for hours on end; a stark contrast to an adrenaline-filled lifestyle. Bork decided that a desk job just wasn’t for her. “I realized the last thing I wanted to do for a career was stare at a computer all day,” Bork said. “After a few freelance jobs, I realized I could merge traditional painting techniques with modern design to create a unique quality aesthetic that stands out from the rest.”
To capitalize on that realization and create a career that isn’t exclusively relegated to a computer screen, Bork and Ramp founded VIVI DESIGN CO. in 2018. The company specializes in environmental design, product branding and hand-painted craftsmanship, which translates to designing and painting tons of murals for local businesses. “Our creative process includes analog and digital techniques,” Bork said. “We utilize digital programs and hand-drawn graphics to get that exact design we visualize for a seamless, distinct look.”
The name VIVI has a couple of meanings for Bork and Ramp. “The letters look so aesthetically pleasing next to one another, resembling two halves as one whole through compound words,” Bork said. “The word vivi is from Latin descent, meaning ‘to live, living and alive.’”
Bork goes on to explain how this Latin saying encompasses her and her husband’s daily life; to live with design, to feel alive through design and to live through habitual creativity.
VIVI DESIGN CO. can be found locally in many murals around Central Oregon, including murals done for local businesses such as Dr. Jolly’s, Backporch Coffee Roasters, Kefi Fresh, the Cottonwood Cafe in Sisters, Pioneer Cannabis Co. in Madras and many others. Currently, VIVI DESIGN CO. is designing a mural for a local plant shop, Somewhere That’s Green.
For more, see vividesignco.com.