Lee Larabie: Red Dragon Tattoo Parlour
Lee is the owner and premier tattoo artist at Red Dragon Tattoo Parlour, an all female, all vegan studio in the Bloor West area of Etobicoke Ontario. They use only organic, vegan ink for their artwork. Lee has more than 14 years of experience in the tattoo industry, and she’s skilled in a wide variety of techniques.
She’s mastered black and grey tattoo designs, color designs – she can even do photorealist portraits! She has experience with cover-ups and script work as well. Her passion is in tattooing, but she never limits herself to just one artform. She considers herself to be an artist first, and a tattoo artist second.
We wanted to see what Lee’s experience has been like as a female in the tattoo industry.
Q: As a woman with tattoos or a woman in the tattoo industry, have you found that you (or any of your female clients) have been ‘slut-shamed’ or received negatively because of the fact that they are a woman with a tattoo?
I’ve not received any backlash myself like that. I think it’s all about the way you carry yourself and portray yourself to the world.
Q: Do you think that there is a general stigma around women having tattoos in the modern day world?
I think in the past there was more of a stigma about women and tattoos, people thinking they were trashy, or not lady-like. All types of people, of all different ages, get tattooed nowadays; people look at tattoos differently. It’s not all criminals and bikers who get them done any more. Tattoos are more of an art form which has a lot of appreciation now [more so] than in the past.
Q: What has your experience been in becoming successful in the tattooing field?
Getting started tattooing when I was 19 was very difficult as it is very much a male dominated industry and people wouldn’t take me seriously at the time being a young female. I had to work twice as hard as anyone else just to get the same recognition.
I own The Red Dragon Tattoo Parlour which is an all female tattoo shop. People come to us because they don’t want a male making them feel uncomfortable or trying to hit on them. Tattoos are very personal and should be treated with respect, people come to us because we treat it with such respect and they feel very welcomed. This is important to us. You’ll have a great experience and come back for more!
Lee is a true example of a successful woman in tattooing – she started young, worked her way to the top and now owns and operates one of Toronto’s most successful all-female tattoo parlours. For more information on Lee’s studio and her work visit RedDragonTattooParlour.com.