5 Questions With: Lizzie Renaud of Speakeasy Tattoo & Pinky’s Nails

lizzie renaud

I first heard of Lizzie Renaud a few years ago when I was looking to get a new tattoo after having just moved Toronto. Lizzie is one of the top female tattoo artists in Toronto. Not only is she an incredible artist, she is also the owner of the super rad Toronto tattoo shop Speakeasy Tattoo and a few years ago also opened up a luxury nail art studio called Pinky’s Nails in downtown Toronto. Lizzie is not only a badass entrepreneur but also a visionary woman. She’s always on the lookout for new projects and opportunities, which is one of the reasons why this woman is so inspiring. I hope to one day have the pleasure of being tattooed by her. In the meantime, here are my 5 Questions With Lizzie Renaud:

1) When did you start tattooing? What made you want to become a tattoo artist?

I started tattooing in 2003’ish.  Those first few years was a lot of learning. I wanted to be a tattooer because I really liked working with people at my first job and I wanted to be a bigger part of it all. It seemed like a good way to make art as a full time job.

2) How much has the perception women tattoo artists changed over the past couple of years?

I think that as long as people keep asking that question, little has changed in general. Clearly we must still stand out as different. I’m not a “woman” tattoo artist just as much as there’s no such thing as a “woman” dentist or “woman” baker. I would love for there to be a day that we are just tattoo artists like anyone else.

3) What in your opinion makes a good tattoo?

I think when a client is able to simplify their tattoo ideas into the fewest elements possible, they will get their best tattoo. I also think that a client should really like the artists style of tattooing before engaging in any work with them. 

4) In addition to being a tattoo artist, you are also a businesswoman. You are the owner of the Speakeasy Tattoo shop in Toronto and also Pinky’s Nails, a luxury nail art studio. Why was it important for you to start up both of these businesses?

Sometimes I get ideas for fun projects and they’re fizzled out within a week… Other times a special motivation strikes me and I can see an idea through to a bigger end goal. My two shops are examples of ideas I was just motivated to see through. I think it’s important to take advantage of those feelings. 

5) What was it about nail art that you were drawn to? Do you think it’s a trend that’s here to stay?

Nail art was an escape for me, and I can’t really tell you why.  Some people like baking, some people do ceramics… Painting nails just was something that let me meditate through a creative medium.  I think my fixation on it lead to me wanting to create a dedicated space for it.

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