I’m just another kid from L.A who is expressing art through his culture. What makes my story unique is I didn’t have prior knowledge of my culture as much as I do now. I’m a first generation Mexican-American who was raised in Crenshaw. I’ve lived on the westside of L.A all my life and the Westside I am talking about is West South Central along Crenshaw. I was never really exposed to the east side lifestyle. For my senior degree project I decided to make a magazine that showcased Chicano culture and fashion.
I am a senior at Woodbury University studying graphic design. I titled my project “Mís Raíces, Mí Cultura,” which translates to my roots my culture, this was to not only to learn more about my culture but to document what other people in the world have not done yet. Many people have taken elements of our culture but what I wanted to do is a first-hand document — the story of our impact on Los Angeles history. The brief rundown of subjects mentioned in my project are The Zoot Suit Riots, Greaser culture, and the influence of cholo/a culture on the city of Los Angeles. The focus of my project was also to showcase many holidays such as Día De Los Muertos and Mexican Independence Day.
A survey in the history of Chicanos in Los Angeles, during the last hundred years, resulted in the creation of a small circulation self-published zine. It covers the formation and cultural influence of Zoot Suit, Greaser, Cholo, and Lowrider in fashion, music, art, and education.
Iconic fashion components such as white tees, Dickies, Nike Cortez shoes, as well as tattoos, and hairstyles were recreated to complement the content of the zine. The goal of this project is to showcase the influence of Mexican American culture in Los Angeles.
I enjoy showcasing my culture my way. What I learned overall is that I love my city and the people that live in it. Showcasing the past really put an insight to how this city came to be, Mexicans helped build this city from the beginning and are still here today.
My culture has impacted the city in many avenues such as street culture, tattoo culture, and food culture. It has been a couple of weeks since completion of my project and what I can go back and say is “I did that.” I dedicated this project to my parents who have worked very hard to put me through school and all I can say is thank you and I look forward to graduating.