— Fernando "Rush" Santos
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To say that Fernando Santos is committed to Oakland is an understatement. His passion for this city is so strong it's become a part of his art and his work. Fernando (Rush) grew up in the "Rolling 100s" just a few blocks from where we took these photos. He still lives in the neighborhood, as do his parents. As a young graffiti artist he made his mark on garbage cans, windows, walls, and bus benches throughout Oakland. Now he is making his mark with his Beast Oakland line of shirts, tote bags, aprons, pins, hats, beanies and more; and recently with his store, Beast Oakland, on MacArthur Blvd. in the Laurel neighborhood. (For Rush, a Beast is somebody who is exceptionally talented or amazing at what they do.) His stylized symbol of a crane, which you'll find on all of his products, represents strength, courage and power; it's a Beast, like Oakland, and like Rush himself.