What Is The Ignorant Tattoo Trend?

The phrase "ignorant tattoo" might seem to have negative connotations, but really, you're just tapping into a specific style of ink. In this case, ignorance in the shape of a tattoo is less "lack of knowledge" and more "ironic." The trend leans into dry humor over sensitivity, but for many of us, it can be hard to recognize and spot this type of tattoo. 

As Celle Est, a video creator for educational tattoo-related content, explains in a YouTube video, ignorant tattoos are characterized by simple designs. "They are mostly black line work without any color," she says. "These tattoos are very reminiscent of sketch book designs, graffiti art, and cartoon-like drawings ... they tend to have a very DIY look." She further describes this trending ink by sharing that it defies conventional tattoo rules. "Markers of good tattoos like straight lines and cohesive designs aren't really relevant to the ignorant style of tattooing. The subject matter of ignorant tattoo designs tends to be ironic and very tongue-in-cheek," Celle Est adds.

The ignorant tattoo trend can be traced back to Paris

Though the ignorant tattoo trend features simple designs, not everyone who can draw stick figures should be designing this type of ink. According to Vice, the style began trending in Paris, France, thanks to the work of ex-graffiti artist-turned-tattooist, Fuzi Uvtpk, who first turned heads with his own version of the ignorant tattoo back in the '90s. Asked why he set down his spray paint can and picked up a needle instead, the Parisian told Vice that, "It was an evolution within my own creations. I brought my own style — the 'Ignorant Style' — to graffiti in the '90s and became famous for this." Speaking about more "typical" tattoo artists, Uvtpk added that he views himself simply as an artist, and that tattooing is merely another medium through which to express himself. "For me the act of simply creating something is the most important part of tattooing. Not only the creation of a piece of art on someone's skin, but the creation of the experience that comes with it," he added, via Vice.

Three decades later, Uvtpk is still hard at work tatting away. Most recently, the artist has made his mark by tattooing Hollywood actor, Scarlett Johansson, with a cartoon-drawn horseshoe and the words "lucky you," according to the Evening Standard. Now that we've learned how to spot an ignorant tattoo and learned of its origins, we're ready to appreciate these simple designs out in the wild.