Photo credit:  Gabe Souza


  • Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon
  • Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (pre Disney)
  • The Wiz
  • Kill Bill Vol 1&2
  • Harold and Maude

Cyndi Lou

I was born in Albuquerque New Mexico, but I did most of my growing up in Alabama (no, I don't have an accent, but I do value manners and hospitality!). I moved to Portland, Maine for college and got my degree in photography at MECA. As long as I can remember, it has always been my goal to make a living as a working artist, and working with people is where I thrive. 

I was exposed briefly to the world of tattooing at age 10. My mom got a flaming bat (‘cause she's a badass!) as her first tattoo, and I was allowed to tag along. While playing with my toy trolls in the lobby and curiously watching every step of the process, I thought, “HOW do I get THAT job?!!”

It wasn't until much later that I was fortunate enough to apprentice with Marcus Kuhn in 2007 here in Portland. It was not easy, but I think students of life subliminally choose the lessons they need, and I learned. More importantly, I learned to keep learning. 

I opened Squid and Whale Tattoo in 2009 and closed it in 2012 to work at Tsunami Tattoo, and here I am, still happy to be working in such good company.

I've since realized that my creative process is best when I collaborate with others. I really enjoy hearing others’ thoughts and ideas.  I like to use my experience and intuition to design pieces that resonate with each client.

Tattooing in this age, there are so many different walks of life and people who seek to adorn themselves with their stories and history. Being able to meet some of you and create something for you is what I love most about my job.  Some of the people I work with are doctors, veterans, farmers, restaurant industry workers, teachers, healers, survivors, officers, artists, and musicians; I am constantly surprised and amazed at the imagery people choose to represent themselves. Because of this and with my strong desire to ever be evolving as an artist, I try to make diversity in tattooing my specialty.

Looking forward,
Cyndi Lou