In South Korea, tattoos are taboo. This is especially true for women, as the country has a very defined beauty standard. Alisha Gory is on a mission to change this while representing body modification among Asian women.

Born Yoo Jung Ha in Seoul, South Korea, Alisha always had a passion for art. She knew she wanted to make this a career, but the life of the starving artist did not appeal to her. Alisha liked the idea of working on a living canvas and moved to America when she was only 18 to become a tattoo artist.

Alisha made the journey alone as her conservative family disapproved of her decision. After getting her BFA from the renowned Art Institute of Chicago, Alisha moved to Manhattan. She began her training as an apprentice, performing the dirty work no one else wanted to do for no pay. She covered her bills by washing dishes in a dive bar but overcame these tough obstacles by constantly reminding herself that she was doing this in order to not work for anyone else.

This mindset carried Alisha through the difficult first stages of her career. She surrounded herself with like-minded people, networked within the tattoo community, and researched the overall business. With a goal of redefining cultural norms, Alisha was eager to freely express herself while creating stunning body art. She knew this would create a lot of challenges back home in Seoul, but Alisha isn’t afraid to push boundaries.

Today, this formidable young woman has a thriving tattoo business and has made an impressive name for herself. She has multiple sponsorships within the industry and has been on the cover of not one but two magazines, Tattoo Life and Inked. For those not familiar with these publications, they are the Time magazine of the industry, especially Inked.

It was a long road to attain this standing. Knowing we are all human, Alisha defines failure as a fear of the mind, but insists on learning and growing from failure then bouncing back stronger than before. As she considers success being in the position to help others, she is using her success to create an animal rescue organization.

Alisha’s other upcoming endeavors include more investing and creating another business. With her true entrepreneurial spirit, drive to celebrate real beauty, and exquisite work (displayed on her social media pages) this gifted young artist is a force to be reckoned with.

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