Lea Vendetta does it all! She’s an award winning tattoo artist, a gorgeous model, a media personality and entrepreneur. You may recognize her from the first season of Ink Master on Spike TV. I personally know Lea and was excited to share with you what an incredible and beautiful person she is, inside and out.
Lea was born in Paris, France. That was where she attended art school and then went on to become an accomplished painter and visual artist. Her work has been exhibited in galleries in Paris, NYC, Miami, and Palm Beach. It was in 1996 that Lea decided to make the move to Miami, FL. to pursue the art of tattooing. With 20 years of tattooing now under her belt, she has gained a fanbase worldwide and a list of celebrity clientele.
She has graced the cover and/or features of over 25 national and international magazines including Maxim, Inked, Tattoo Life, Rebel Ink and Inkslingers, just to name a few.
It was in 2012 that Lea was featured as an original cast member of season 1 of the “Ink Master” television series on Spike TV. In 2016 she starred in the spinoff “Sirens Of Ink” and was the subject of the Emmy Award Winning Documentary, “Lea Vendetta”.
Lea continues to make personal appearances for radio, television, festivals and conventions. Right now, she lives in Las Vegas and is a featured artist at Hart and Huntington at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. She works by appointment only, just so you know if you would like to book a tattoo appointment with her.
When Lea is not tattooing she paints and works on artistic projects. Her latest media venture in music is called “BLCKSTR”, formed in 2013 with AJ St. James. Her latest fashion venture is “Life Is Now”, a newly launched fragrance line for men and women. It is available now at www.LifeIsNow.Ink
Lea, how would you describe your style of tattooing?
My style of tattooing is precision traditional with a Japanese and/or a realistic feel to it. I mainly do black and grey lately, lol. Not sure if that is a style or not or if it would even be called that, but that’s what I do.
What tattoo artist(s) do you look up to or inspire you?
There are too many artists to name. I’m really passionate when it comes to tattooing, so there are many tattoo artists that I love the work of. Some have been in the business for years, and some I just stumble upon their work on Instagram and it pushes the boundaries of classic tattooing, which is really exciting to see.
I’m fascinated by the amount of talent and the ever continuing evolution of the art form.
Have you done any of your own tattoos?
Yes, I did a few. The main tattoo I did on myself is in the palm of my right hand (I’m a leftie). I tattooed “Je t’ time”, it means I love you in French. I did it as some kind of self love therapy ceremony, so I could see it everyday and it remind me to surround myself with love and give love rather than allowing myself to go in the opposite direction. I know it sounds like some kind of hippy stuff, lol but it was a cathartic experience and is a good daily reminder for me to make an effort to be be the best person possible.
Who are some of the celebrities you have tattooed?
Well, funny you should ask! The first one that comes to mind is Sabina Kelley, the tattooed PinUp queen. I hope that eagle is holding up, lol! Well it has been 20 years long, so let me keep it short. Here are a few of the most recent celebs that come to mind: Ben Bruce (Asking Alexandria), DJ Ashba (Guns ’N Roses, SixxxAM), and his lovely wife Naty Ashba, Cody Miller (2016 Olympic Champion, once I finished tattooing him, he put the gold medal around my neck. That was a pretty cool experience!), Riki Rachtman (MTV Headbangers Ball), James Durbin (American Idol), Alex Grossi (Quiet Riot) and Bob Burnquist (Skateboarder Legend).
With being born in Europe and now living in America, which do you like better and why?
I love both America and Europe. At the moment I love living in America, especially in Las Vegas because I’m a big fan of technology (wifi everywhere) and not having to plan my life around business hours of operation. Las Vegas is a 24/7/365 kind of town, which is a definite plus for me. My work schedule is pretty hectic, so the city allows me to fully enjoy my workaholic lifestyle painlessly, but then I also love Europe. Europe is a different vibe. It is slower with more human connections. It is more enjoyable but less productive, at least that has been my experience till now. Ultimately, I would love to be able to share my life between both, and it looks like I’ll be in Europe more in the near future, which is exciting.
Tell us something we would never guess about you…
I play the accordion? When I was a teenager I used to sing a lot, mainly French songs. I would go in the street and busk for extra cash. Then I did back up singing for a couple of local bands. Music has always been a passion of mine, however my art career took me in another direction, towards tattooing. So, I did not pursue that interest again till recently. A few years ago I picked up a bass and I started singing again. Then I started experimenting with keys, blending electro sounds with rock guitars, and that is how the music project I’m working on now started. We’re in production now and looking to release the first singles this summer. Stay tuned, I’ll be releasing more information soon.
What is your life long goal?
I have so many goals in life. One of my main goals was to help promote the art of tattooing, so it would become accepted as a full art in society. I’m happy to say I think we are getting there. It certainly seems that society is beginning to embrace tattooing as a full art form. I like to think that hopefully I was one of the little drops in the ocean, that helped change the public opinion on the matter.