COLORADO SPRINGS — After spending 11 years behind bars, Tony Montána turned his life around.
His story begins when he was adopted at 7-years-old by a sexually abusive family.
For years, Montána struggled.
No matter what situation he would be in, trouble followed.
Montána spent years in and out of prison.
In his 20's, he was charged with 2nd degree murder and 1st degree assault.
One day in prison, Montána had a conversation with an older gentleman who had been incarcerated for 30 years.
As Montána envisioned himself telling the same story to someone else in 30 years, he realized he wanted a different life.
He wanted to get out as soon as possible.
So, Montána needed something to focus on.
With a lot of time on his hands he started to draw.
It was his escape, his motivation for what life would be like after prison.
"It was influenced to get myself out as soon as possible," said Montána.
Montána was released in 2015.
Soon after, his passion for art blossomed.
In early 2016, he began his tattoo apprenticeship.
From there, he opened up Speakeasy Tattoo Company, where he spends hours on end with clients.
"I hear a lot of stories and I am able to relate to a lot of things because I have had a crazy past. Honestly, I end up talking to people and we bounce our stories off of eachother."
Montána says thanks to the art, "Tattooing saved my life. Without it I know I would be in prison or dead."