Art expresses change as it’s occurring, as it has occurred, and as it may yet come to pass. Artists have used cave walls, canvas, hide, and even the human skin to record the journey of life. Tattoos, though considered by many a new art form, have been part of our consciousness for much longer. Its comeback has been tough for tattoo artists like Alisha Gory, who are only just finding their feet after being stigmatized for a long time.
Alisha moved to America at the age of 18. She was alone, but her mind was full of dreams of becoming a tattoo artist. On asking why she turned to tattooing, she said, “I’ve always been good at art. When I came to New York I was anxious about becoming one of its resident starving artists. So yea, there were primal needs that drove me in that direction, but I wouldn’t have been able to do justice to my work if I didn’t believe that I could bring life alive via tattoos.”
Alisha has been tattooing for almost a decade now and clearly remembers the time when this profession and those associated with it were seen as lost souls. She says, “It was overwhelming how it was looked down upon. I have always wondered why, and I think I can see what caused this stigma to hang heavily on this profession. Not everyone has an eye for art and tattoos make everyone question the whole point of it. Hence, the confusion and hence the stigma. It was very unpleasant, to be new and feel rejection for something that inspires you to create beauty, meaning, and push your boundaries for. I believe those are the very things that we admire in each other..”
They say tough times don’t last, tough people do. For Alisha, the will to survive has led to an appealing result, finally. Today, she’s a leading tattoo artist who has appeared on the covers of Inked magazine and Tattoo Life. Her popularity has also landed her multiple sponsorships within the tattoo industry, a feat she cherishes immensely. She says, “I consider it a joy to connect with people with my work. Apart from that, I love the freedom I have over my work and schedule.”
Art is for the mind what food is for the soul. Whether it’s on a white canvas or the contours of the skin, as long as it stays true to the spirit of creation, it serves the purpose of advancing consciousness.