I Am Los Angeles: Representing East L.A.

I Am Los Angeles is a video portrait series created by journalist and filmmaker Joris Debeij, showcasing the unique people and their ideas that make L.A. what it is. KCET Departures will be featuring these videos as part of our continuing coverage of the shifting cultures of Los Angeles.

As a kid, Sal traced and drew images out of the Gray's Anatomy books that belonged to his cousin and sister. The teacher was impressed until she found out Sal was copying everything from books. "You have to give it something extra," she said. Sal listened. He continued drawing and he got to be quite good.

Salvador Preciado has been in East Los Angeles for most of his life, and he calls it his home. Growing up, Sal was impressed by the tattoos worn by East Los Angeles gang members; he was fascinated by the strong, bold lines exhibited in this style of tattooing. Initially, Sal began experimenting with his own skills at correcting and refining this style of tattoo work, but soon Sal found himself inspired by the artistry of tattooing. So he later decided to become a full-time tattoo artist.

Sal is now the proud owner of El Clasico Tattoo, a tattoo shop in Echo Park. Representing the East L.A. cultural style in his artwork, and being proud of the authenticity in the work he creates, Sal aims to bring the same sense of pride to the rest of the neighborhood through the works of El Clasico Tattoo.


Originally published on I Am Los Angeles.

Check out more video portraits at I Am Los Angeles.