“I always thought that people with tattoos were really cool and interesting. Growing up, I always thought, "Oh man, I want to have a tattoo sleeve one day." My mom has a bunch of tattoos and so I kind of followed in her footsteps in many ways, that being one of them.
My first tattoo was when I was 18. I got the word forza on my side, which means strength in Italian. The Italian pride is really strong on that side of the family. We're really into our heritage - I got that for that side of the family and just because that's kind of a good reminder for me to be strong because I've had a lot of anxiety my entire life. I like to have little reminders like to keep me going.
For the most part, yes, they (tattoos) all have meaning. My desert piece that I have inside of an Arrowhead was one of my first bigger pieces. I was reading a book called Women Who Run With the Wolves. It mentions a lot in the book about going out into the desert and seeing into the bones and finding your spirit. Like reconnecting with the wild woman within you. It’s something that has always resonated with me and I've felt very free and wild whenever I'm in the desert. It's just a place of peace for me.
My wolf - as cheesy as it sounds, the wolf was kind of like my spirit animal. I got the sleeping baby wolf to show the more innocent side of the bad-ass wolf spirit. I have a hawk that is my mom's spirit animal. Her brother passed away 20 years ago now. The day that he passed there was a hawk that flew overhead and a feather came floating down out of the sky.
I think people with tattoos are rad. If people don't choose to get them, that's their choice and they're also rad. There's no perfect way to do it. Some people like to sit down for several hours with the same artist and they have one big piece and that totally works. It's honestly up to you because it's going to be on your body so you just gotta make sure that you're doing something that you like.” - Avory
Photos and stories created by Gray Warrior - Colorado Photographer. You can find more of his work on Instagram @Gray_Filter