Do you have a signed tattoo?

I don’t really know why, but it always kind of weirds me out when I see a tattoo that has been signed by the artist. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with it, it’s just very unusual… I think it often even makes the tattoo artist uncomfortable — I strongly suspect that these two examples are only signed because the client insisted.

Left tattoo is by Mike Boseman at Sleep Hollow Studios in Roanoke Rapids, NC, and the one on the right is by Wally Poltern (sorry, I don’t know the studio).

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

6 thoughts on “Do you have a signed tattoo?

  1. The following comments were imported from our old comment system:

    Posted on 12-21-2005 12:53:34 by Micrurus
    An artist who is a friend of mine has a signed tattoo, the artist who gave him the tatto signed and my friend doesn’t seem to care much about it, the signature is small though.

    Posted on 12-21-2005 18:09:40 by LostSally

    Posted on 12-21-2005 22:31:17 by ?
    if i did the first one..

    i wouldnt have claimed any kind of rights to it.

    its hideous.

    Posted on 12-21-2005 23:33:47 by Kathrine Wheel
    i recently had a customer ask me to sign their tattoo, or add in a personal representational logo. i wouldn’t do it, and to me the signature seems to get more attention than it deserves, therefore, it distracts from the tattoo.

    Posted on 12-22-2005 03:43:22 by Tattooee
    My husband has a tattoo where the artist worked in his “signature” skulls. It fits the piece nicely and it let you know who did it without having a giant neon sign pointing at it

    Posted on 12-22-2005 17:41:39 by _Stigmata_
    haha I had a buddy tattoo his signature on me awhile back then when i was gettin more blackwork on me i had another friend ask me if she could sign hers.So I was joking around about having the most signatures of iam members for a tattoo

    Posted on 12-22-2005 23:15:31 by ???
    at least whoever RUINED that guys back with that horrable dragon had to courtesy to wanr people who did it.

    Posted on 12-23-2005 08:36:27 by marie
    that dragon is not too bad compared to the other thing…

    Posted on 12-30-2005 02:22:08 by jon
    this needs fixin mike boseman is an excellent piercer at sleepy hollows in rr. nc.i know this cause he done all my piercings cept for my cheeks.he drew the shit for the tat.

    Posted on 01-14-2006 21:50:50 by Kris?
    thats frick’n scary! I don’t even like wearing company logos!

    Posted on 01-22-2006 20:44:55 by SheWontBurn
    Those are hideous.
    Why would ANYONE even sign that, except to scare away customers.

  2. I believe the dragon may have been by an English artist named Wally Poulton, someone who came highly recommended to me from a few sources…

    I dont know about why the work is signed but I was told he was incredibly talented both in freehand and cover-up work, that maybe some flash on the guys back?

  3. wally poulton is the best tattoo artist in essex ,has a waiting list of 4/5 months that says it all

  4. In traditional Japanese tattooing the artist commonly leaves a small area untattooed. His signature goes there when the entire tattoo is finished. This is usually done only when the artist has done a whole bodypiece or at least a full backpiece (ie: a major tattoo, not just a small one or two or three sitting piece).

  5. YO!
    This is Mike Boseman, just for the record and my reputation…I didnt do that devil head tattoo, I drew the original design. I knew the girl who got the tattoo and I tattooed the INITIALS at the bottom. Guy named Tommy that worked at Sleepy Hollow Studios did the actual tattoo. MY Tattoo work can be seen at

  6. does anyone have any contact details for wally poulton,I have seen so of his work and it is amazing.
    Really want him to do some for me,I care how long his waiting list is.

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