I was drawing since I was little and my passion grew from there. In France, there’s Art and Culture everywhere, which stimulated my imagination as a kid, and I begun drawing everything I saw and experienced and my passion grew from there.
Interestingly, her early days as an artist were spent drawing tattoos.
Even when I was young, I was drawing a lot of things that looked like tattoo designs, probably inspired mostly from the music and bands I loved.
So you might say, it was a pretty natural fit for Lea to find her way to a tattoo shop. She began in a non-traditional way. Her friend owned a shop in Florida, where, she would sell her paintings. They sold well, and he suggested she give tattooing a try.
As a french girl with a thick accent fresh off the boat, the idea of becoming a tattoo artist never crossed my mind as I was the opposite of the tattoo artist stereotype at the time, that was 1996. Once my friend suggested I give it a try, it felt like it made sense to me as a tattooed artist fascinated by tattooing…and as soon as I picked up a machine and started, it felt like everything flowed.
She loved the social aspect most.
I loved that it’s social. When you paint, you're alone with your canvas. When you tattoo you hang out with like-minded people and you get to make them happy. I work with really awesome clients and we share these moments together—coming up with cool designs together and they leave really happy. I love the whole experience of it.
Her career also led her to a season on Ink Master.
After owning my own successful shop for almost 10 years, I decided to travel the U.S and the world to further my career in Tattooing and Arts by meeting, exchanging and learning from other tattoo artists. Along the way, I've worked many US conventions, guest spotted in many world famous Tattoo Shops all over the U.S, and got a call to be part of a new show called Inkmaster, where I managed to stay in 8 of the 11 episodes of season 1, and where I won the black and grey realistic competition.
Then, thankfully for us, she moved to Vegas, where she works at Hart & Huntington creating beautiful pieces in just about any style you can dream up. Her favorites are Japanese, traditional and black and grey but she can do it all.
Hart and Huntington is a world famous shop where world famous artists gravitate to and that is the shop and context I was looking to be part of when I moved to Vegas. The high level of daily learning and exchange with the residents artists in this shop stimulates and helps me to keep growing as an artist which I love and is vital for me.
One of her tattoo life lessons:
We are here to make the client’s vision happen and make them happy. Our job is to be able to deliver a great lasting tattoo no matter what. It’s not about the tattoo artist, it’s about making someone happy.