Matt (Poohki) Ward

Matt Ward (a.k.a Poohki) is a Minnesota born-and-raised tattooist, illustrator, painter, husband, and father of two. He has spent the last 16 years perfecting his craft in Tattoo, and 30+ years collecting, building and honing the skills to keep his proficiency in the visual arts growing and expanding.

His passion for creating goes back as far as he can recall, though his true artistic process began in the fourth grade in Windom, MN. Together with his best friend he began to draw incessantly, inspired by pop-culture, frequent excursions through rural, farmland graveyards, and with the guidance from a supportive art teacher and loving family.

Poohki eventually left Windom two years early to dedicate his junior and senior years of high school to studying art at the Perpich Center for Arts Education in Golden Valley, MN. After graduating with a visual arts focus he moved on to the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, primarily focusing on graphic design. After spending a few years as a graphic designer, he was offered a tattooing apprenticeship at Minneapolis mainstay, Saint Sabrina’s under tattooist Trevor Collis, where he honed the skills of tattooing for the next three years. In 2002, he began tattooing at Steady Tattoo on the University of Minnesota campus.

After nearly a decade spent in the hubbub of Stadium Village, he moved to the small, lakeside shop, Evolution Tattoo in Bloomington, where he would spend the next 5 years. Now, after nearly 20 years in the business, he is co-owner of BlackEnd Tattoo Atelier in South Minneapolis with Sarah Biloon.

Characterized by vibrant colors and rich blacks & grays, his art is very illustrative. His focus is generally large-scale pieces, though he loves the detail of smaller, more intricate pieces as well. Always excited by custom design work, his strengths lie in pieces where he can let the creative juices flow, giving him the freedom to compose and create tattoos that showcase his personal style, preferring to forego lettering, tribal styles or copycat work.