The Tattoos and Art of Cynthia Rudzis
What was that blur? And why are there scorch marks all over 2014?
Seriously?! Although it's not over yet, 2014 has been a whirlwind. The ever changing nature of Cirque Du Rouge itself has been akin to raising and training a 900 lb., 8 headed keeps me moving quickly unless I want to be crushed under it's feet. And if that isn't enough, forming a creative partnership with our friends and H Street neighbors, Gallery O and Palace Productions, has increased my workload, but even more, increased our joined creativity and love of the ties of visual art, performance, and presentation. I've been blessed to meet the people behind these ventures, kindred spirits determined to keep the Beauty and Fun alive in a city that fun sometimes seems to have forgotten.
And lastly, y'all just never stop with great ideas, blank spaces and a willingness to let me come up with something to fill them. It never ceases to amaze and humble me.
My only regret is that I don't have the time to do all the great things that come across my email. In order to keep Cirque Du Rouge running, continue on a path of growing as a creative presence on H St, keeping our space a great place to visit for our customers and a fun place for our artists to work, I am forced to limit the number of tattoos I take on. Not only do I want to continue doing my very best with every piece on my schedule, but I need to make sure I have time to research and draw them properly...and there's only so much time in a day, week and month to do that.
But that's why every artist here at Cirque has a turn at a station here, because they are ALL AMAZING, CREATIVE PEOPLE! So, if I suggest someone else to's not that I don't want to work with you, but that I know there is someone else here that maybe you haven't considered or even know about. And I don't want to keep you waiting forever. That wait list is a monster I really don't ever want to see again in this lifetime.
As always, feel free to email me, ask questions or advice. Amy and I will always do our best to get back with you, give you suggestions, or find a spot on my schedule or get you in touch with another member of the Cirque Du Rouge "Krewe". With great thankfulness...Cyn
Adieu until 2014
I cannot express how grateful I am for all the support through the rough seas we, as artists and collectors, have navigated in opening Cirque Du Rouge and making it a safe, enjoyable and ultimately creative place to work and be tattooed. I want to share a heartfelt THANK YOU to each and every one of you that has come to get tattooed, supported us, spread the word, or just given us a pat on the back when the going got tough.
For a short time, I actually managed to get caught up on my wait list! And then more of you started asking for work from me. I'm flattered and I wish I could clone myself and do everyone's requests!!! But thankfully for those that actually KNOW me, cloning isn't an option. :) And after reviewing my schedule and those that I still need to meet with or have spoken to, I've come to the conclusion that I'm running out of room for new work and need to finish the larger scale pieces I have started and agreed to. Regretfully, I will not be taking any new work until 2014.
There are so many wonderful artists working at Cirque and we have new, talented, enthusiastic guest coming each month. Amy and I are both more than happy to suggest a good match for you and get you started on a piece you'll love.
When 2014 arrives, I'll be changing how I work. I'll be concentrating on pieces that reflect my personal strengths as an artist and offering sketches for works I'd like to do. I'll still entertain new ideas and suggestions, but my ultimate goal is to create a more cohesive visual presentation that plays to my strengths as an illustrator and ultimately, helps me create a tattoo that best represents what I do. This will also give me time to concentrate on making Cirque Du Rouge all it can be and doing everything I can to make our artists and customers happy.
In case you didn't read it before THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for all the support over the years. I'm looking forward to seeing old friends and new faces on 416 H Street and having all of you as part of our Krewe!
This time it's for real.
You know that whole "we'll be opening soon" thing we've been saying for about a year and a half. Well, tomorrow...we're open.

No kidding. I'm serious this time. :)

The construction is done, all our paperwork is in place and besides a few items I'd like to get complete to make things even better...Cirque Du Rouge is finally ready to open it's doors.

Bear with us...we'll be smoothing out the bumps along the way. We'll have artists ready to chat with you and maybe even tattoo you the same day if possible. Robyn, Shannon, and Kim are joining us and we're really excited to have them. We also have guest artists visiting this week and next. They're listed on the shop's website. More will be listed for June.

One of the hardest things we'll have to do is to ask that anyone accompanying you finds somewhere else to go and something else to do while you're being tattooed. Sorry...but the only one hold your hand will be your artist (figuratively, of course). It's a rule we had to make for your safety and our sanity. There's no dedicated "waiting room" due to our building's size. But there are great places to wait on our block. Sidamo, The Big Board, Boundary Road, The Batter Bowl, Tru Orleans...all the coffee, tea, libations, and food you could want...or wander even further down H toward the Atlas District and find something new.

I wanted to thank everyone for the constant encouragement, especially when I wanted to throw in the towel, and for the boundless patience with my ever-changing schedule this past year and especially through the ongoing construction. I'm thankful every day for the wonderful people I have been lucky enough to work with.

XO...see you at Cirque. :)
Philly and FREEDOM!
I'm really excited to attend the Philadelphia Tattoo Convention this coming weekend, February 8, 9, and 10 for a few reasons. First, it's always great to meet new people, see old friends, make new ones and all the while, get to do fun tattoos. It's doubly good to share booth time with Cirque Du Rouge artists Robie Sayan, Charon Henning and Kimberley Ewell. On top of that, my much loved cousins are in Philadelphia, so added family time is always a huge bonus.
And as if things couldn't get more exciting, it looks as if we're going to start sweeping up the dust from our recent ongoing renovations at Cirque Du Rouge as soon as we return. Yes, we may actually be opening our doors this Spring. For real! Stay tuned. You can also check in on the website or our Facebook page: for updates.
Labor Pains
No, no, I'm not pregnant! But the gestation of getting our building up and running on all levels equals that of giving birth to twin elephants.
Cirque Du Rouge is FINALLY ready to begin construction to make our space even BETTER, and more importantly, BIGGER, in order to accommodate our much loved, regular custom clients, and welcome new folks that want to pop in for a quick consult or smaller tattoo with several of our new artists that are just waiting to get started once buildout is complete.

What this means for the artists at Cirque is that we will be taking a hiatus in order to get out of our contractor's way during November and part of December. What this means for my own schedule is that I'll do everything in my power to keep moving along with continuing work and catching up on that insane wait list, but I'll HAVE TO PUT A HOLD ON NEW WORK FOR AT LEAST 4 MONTHS. I have to have time to be available to our contractor, and once the build-out is in order, re-arrange all the things that make Cirque Du Rouge such a unique space. And I still need to draw and finish the work I've started , as well as honor those that have been waiting for so long. Amy Grenier, the communications goddess that keeps my email and list moving along, is always there to help answer questions, keep those waiting updated, and help guide inquiries and suggest artists who may be a better fit and can get you in earlier.

Everyone at Cirque Du Rouge is dedicated to making your tattoos the best they can be and making your time with us fun and as comfortable as possible. Liaa, Robie, Allen, Robyn, and soon Shannon and Kim are incredibly talented artists, gifted communicators, and consummate professionals. And Charon Henning will be with us again in the spring. We also have a growing list of guest artists that we'll be announcing when the time is right.

It's going to be amazing, and hopefully worth the wait. Lord knows, it's been a long time coming.

Thanks to everyone for bearing with us, supporting us, and being patient with our growing pains. We appreciate each and every one of you. And to my own customers...THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART! Without each of you, none of this would have ever been possible.

Nothing Worth Having Ever Comes Easy.
Truer word were never spoken. Building Cirque Du Rouge to it's full potential has become a long, worthwhile pursuit, and it's taking a great deal of time. Truth be told, it's taking all of my time and while I'm doing this, I'm very slowly working through my wait list as well as maintaining current works to the best of my ability. However, I'm going to put a hold on entertaining any new requests or adding to my waiting list for the next couple of months. I want to give everyone the attention they deserve within a reasonable amount of time, and the demands of opening Cirque, an already heavy workload, and the occasional need to take a day off or sleep are all pushing my wait list folks further and further back. I just don't want anyone to have to wait for months and become frustrated. So, if you can contact on of the many talented artists at Cirque Du Rouge for an appointment, please do so. They're all linked at And once I have all my ducks in a row and my workload has lessened a bit, I'll be shouting it from the rooftop. As always, I'm astounded by your trust, encouragement, patronage and above all, boundless patience. Thanks to everyone who emails. I hope to eventually meet you all soon.
Hoofbeats Thunder Down Bourbon Street
Take four women, dedicated to their craft and to keeping each other creatively charged, send them South and turn them loose and you have the Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse.
I was lucky to be a part of this sisterly movement of creativity that included my fellow artists of Cirque Du Rouge...Liaa Walter and Charon Henning and our friend, the incredibly talented Mulysa Mayhem of Good Mojo Tattoo. We combined our creativity to create a space that was full of fun, laughter and most importantly, good solid tattooing in our booth at the 19th Annual New Orleans Tattoo Voodoo Expo.
Though the convention itself was rather slow, we kept busy by chatting with our neighbors and met some of the friendliest artists ever while there, spent quality time with old friends and new, and laughed until our sides hurt and our faces ached. Friends and clients (Fryents?) came out to lend a hand and show off their art. My own friend Tommy managed to garner a First Place in Old School and a Second in Patriotic for his "Battle of 1812" chest piece we created. He then tested his mettle by getting a pig tattooed on his left foot and a chicken on his right, without batting an eye. He's one tough Naval officer.
We sealed our sisterhood with horseshoe tattoos, one for each "Horsewoman" given by another "Horsewoman" I wear my smoking, red horseshoe of War, tattooed by Mulysa, proudly.
We managed to fit in a little time running around New Orleans, trying to fit in as much food and fun as possible before returning to our respecitve homes. New Orleans on Halloween weekend is something to put on your bucket list. The cherry on the Crescent City sundae was observing a true invocation of Loa by their faithful. The drum circle alone was intoxicating and the calling for remembrance of those who have gone before came at a special time for me.
In a time for beginnings...this was a landmark beginning of our Sisterhood and I have a feeling the energy it generated is going to act like a creatively charged battery for weeks to come. Most of all, I think it's going to carry me through this long process of opening Cirque Du Rouge.
Thanks ladies...I can't wait to ride with you again.
Big Moves in the Old City
After almost five fun years with Britishink, I've made a difficult decision to part ways and branch out on my own. If you've seen me removed from the Britishink web site, please don't panic. I'm still here, and I'm still working, but it's time to make room for a new person in my old stead while I begin a new chapter in my career and in the relationships with everyone who has trusted me with their art over the years.

I'll still be in DC, I'll still be available via my website, and I'll be sharing news about my new project as it comes to fruition.

It's all good. Very, very good. Stay tuned.

Chugging Along
Since I've been back, it's been nothing but nose to the grindstone, working with my GREAT regular customers and welcoming a few new ones along the way. Summer brings an onslaught of requests and I've tried my best to maintain a waiting list. I still am, but I'm going to have to stop taking new requests for awhile in order to catch up with the folks who have already contacted me and are waiting for a response and subsequent chair time.
A 3 month backlog scares me! So as soon as I am comfortably through answering email that has been hanging in my inbox for over a month, I'll start accepting new requests again.
Besides, August, with all the last-minute beach and vacation plans, probably isn't the best time to sport a new tattoo.
Hope everyone is enjoying their summer! Thanks. :)
The Big D
As many of you may know, I've been taking care of my Dad for the past few months. What some of you may not have known, is that he had metastatic prostate cancer and his time was limited. On November 5th, my Dad said goodbye to those he loved and passed with grace and dignity. And though I knew it was coming, saying I'm devastated is an understatement.

I'll won't be returning to the studio until December, and even then, it will take me a while to catch up with the appointments that had to be cancelled during my time as my father's caretaker, so I probably won't take any new work until the new year.

To everyone who has been in touch, sent messages, and been incredibly understanding and patient with my messed up schedule in these past few months, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Taking care of the Homefront.
Simply put, my Father is quite ill and needs care. So while I'm arranging for visits with his physicians, extra nursing, and all the things that come with caring for a loved one, it will take away from the time I am able to spend drawing and in the studio for a little while.

I'm not quitting work, but I will be scaling back my hours in order to tidy up my schedule with pre-existing customers. I won't be taking any new requests until further notice. I'd hate to put anyone on the schedule, only to reschedule while I'm juggling my father's needs.

Once I get his care worked into the rhythm of my daily "to dos", I'll begin to book new work. But at this point, I'm really not sure when that will be.

Thanks so much to everyone for their support and patience.
Because I'm just one little ol' tattooer.
I'd love to take everyone who is interested in getting a tattoo from me and I'm honored you would consider me. Lately, I've been blessed with more requests than I have time to fulfill or even respond to properly.
So to alleviate the the feeling that I'm just ignoring anyone and to give time due to those who are in the middle of working on a project with me, I'm going to hold off on taking any new clients for consultations or new work until August.
I appreciate each and every one of you who has contacted me and I hope a little wait won't change your minds!
Cheers and have a wonderful summer!
Polar Bears in Charm City.
Despite the gobs of falling white death dumped on Baltimore this weekend, we still had a great time at the 3rd Annual Baltimore Tattoo Arts Convention with those that could make it and those that were snowed simply snowed in. I'm also happy that those who couldn't make it chose to stay safely at home...Saturday was just too dangerous to be on the road. We'll all catch up, no worries.

We may have to close this week as well, since Mother Nature has lost her bearings and thinks DC is a little further North than it really is.

Oh,and if someone out there owns or has access to a large snow removal vehicle...feel free to drive to my place and shovel out my driveway. Thanks!
I'm typing as fast as I can!
For those who have been trying to get in touch...THANK YOU! For both your interest and patience. I've had several problems with my hard drive and subsequently, I'm awash in back-email. I'm doing my best to answer everyone...though at the present, my first openings are in February.
One of these days, I'll find an assistant who is willing to work for cookies, coffee and eternal gratitude, but until then...I'll get back with you, eventually. :)
I survived vacation. I'm back..a few pounds heavier but relaxed and excited to be back in the studio at Britishink again. And I'm almost caught up with email. :)

There are a lot of exciting things going on. The H Street Festival is this Saturday, September 19th...a celebration of all the good changes and new faces that are making up our little, artsy community in the Old City. Along with bands, fashion, art, food and drink, we'll be participating in a streetside tattoo competition, judging the Best, Most Unusual, and the Worst (which personally, I think should be retitled the Bravest). Crazy, fun times!

I'm really stoked about two new additions to the Britishink Crew, Liaa Walter and Robie Sayan. Both are talented individuals with strong backgrounds in art and design, on top of being incredibly good folks. They're both linked at the Britishink check them out.

There's more to come too...and it involves PIE! Details soon...
Vacations All I Ever Wanted...
Sorry...but if The Bangles are singing in my head...then I'm more than happy to share the misery. :)
I'll be out of the studio and offline beginning August 23rd through September 8th. No phone, no email, just a bit of end-of-the-summer silence.
For those getting in touch for the first time, I am grateful and thank you, but I won't be able to sit down and plan new tattoos until October. But as we all know, time passes quickly. :)

Thank you for checking in...enjoy the rest of your summer!
If you can wait until after May...
...I'd really appreciate it. Due to a very full schedule, I currently am unable to take on any new work until after May 1st. I want to make sure everyone I'm working with gets my full attention. Thanks for your understanding and interest.
Baltimore Tattoo Arts Convention 2008
I'm booking appointments for the Baltimore Tattoo Arts Convention in February. Availability is limited for both Saturday and Sunday, February 9th & 10th.

Convention info here:
New Location
After April 9th, I happy to announce that I'll be tattooing with the talented Paul Roe in our nation's capital at BritishInk Tattoo Studio and Gallery.

It's a beautiful space with a great energy in an up and coming DC neighborhood at 508 H Street NE, very near Union Station.

I'll still be taking consultations and personal illustration and art commissions in Dunkirk.
Bike Week 2007!
If you're tired of the cold and planning to attend Bike Week 2007, in Daytona Beach, come and see me! The ever-so cool Kimberly at Built to Last Tattoo is hosting me as a guest artist from March 6th thru the 11th.

Built to Last is located on North 1st Street, right on the beach!, in Jacksonville Beach, FL.

So book an appointment or come to see me.
Over the Bridge to Salisbury
From January 19th- 24th, I'll be heading over the Bay Bridge to the Eastern Shore and tattooing at Solid State Tattoo in Salisbury, MD.
Chesap*pink Opens It's Doors Soon!
As of February 1st, I'll be available to tattoo in my new Dunkirk, MD studio!

Please get in touch to schedule a session or begin a custom piece.

Looking forward to seeing everyone soon.
In January
I'll be settled and working again. The location will be announced shortly.
In the meantime, I'm still acccepting requests for custom artwork.

A $50 deposit via Paypal or Money Order/Cashier's Check is required and will be put toward your tattoo once an appointment is made. My Paypal id is
At the End of December...
I'll be leaving Underground Tattoo. After three years, family obligations and distance have dictated that I need to move on to accomodate an ever changing schedule.

As of January 2007, I'll be doing guest spots in other locations, which I'll announce here. I'll also be taking a little time off to travel with my family.

Please check in occasionally to get an update of where I will be. And for those of you who have come all the way out to Underground, thank you so very much.

Underground Tattoo is still alive and well and remains open from Monday thru Saturday from 2 until 9 pm. As always, they're located in Millison Plaza, Lexington Park, MD...just outside Gate 2 of Patuxent River Naval Air Station.