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Photos by Marcus Kazazian, 17, Daniel Murphy Catholic HS

Jesse Calis, 14, of Lawrence Middle School in Chatsworth, puts the finishing touches on his board. He said he was inspired by his grandfather’s tattoo of a knife with a snake wrapped around it. When asked what he planned to do with his skateboard he said, “Either hang it on my wall or use it.”

Using paint, sharpies and stencils, teens deigned their own skateboard decks in a free workshop at the Sun Valley Youth Arts Center. During three Wednesdays, they drew a sketch, created a custom design or transferred an image they found online onto blank decks, and then painting them. Although they now had one-of-a-kind skateboards, most said they didn’t want to ruin them by using them. Check out for information about other classes and workshops offered throughout Los Angeles.