Ignorant Tattoos: All About One of Tattooing's Most Controversial Styles

Main image: Tattoo by @nolseytattoo

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Ignorant tattoos are a controversial tattoo style that are dripping in humour and rebellion. Made popular by street artist Fuzi Uv tpk in the 90s, ignorant tattoos often use cartoons and simple linework to comment on society and pop culture in a witty and satirical way.

We chatted to tattoo artist Andrea @nolseytattoo to find out more about the rebellious nature of this doodle-like tattoo style.

What are ignorant style tattoos?

Having gained popularity with celebrities like Miley Cyrus and singer-turned-tattooist Brooke Candy, ignorant tattoos split tattoo enthusiasts. The word ignorant means lacking knowledge, awareness and sophistication - I’m sure haters of this style would use these exact words to describe this genre of tattooing.

Ignorant style embraces humour and irony to go against the grain to defy cultural norms and traditional notions of what tattooing should be. Some love their tongue in cheek and DIY aesthetic that nods to Russian prison style tattoos, while their disregard for traditional tattoo rules and forms irks others.

What do they look like?

cat tattooTattoo by @nolseytattoo

Ignorant tattoos are mostly simple, mainly done in black linework with little or no shading. Often cartoonish in nature, many ignorant tattoos mimic doodles or freehand drawings.

Tattoo artist Andrea’s tattoos "come from the type of media I’ve consumed all my life. I’ve watched the looney tunes and old time-y cartoons. Growing up my father was very into comics and drawing cartoon-y characters himself too. So when I started tattooing it kind of made sense to me to look into ignorant style tattoos as it does have similarities with what I’ve always drawn."

cat tattooTattoo by @nolseytattoo

What do they mean?

For Andrea, ignorant styles means "a more loose and free way of drawing and doing tattoos without the constraints of what shading, shapes or proportions "should" look like, that comes from the traditional sense of tattooing."

For her, ignorant style tattooing "comes hand in hand with the way contemporary art in general is evolving." As art evolves, so do tattoos and what people want to put on their bodies. As social media allows people to share more art and reach even more people, it’s no surprise new pockets of tattoo culture are springing up.

How can I find the best ignorant tattoo artists and tattoo flash?

The easiest way to find ignorant tattoo artists and their designs - social media. Just a quick search will show tons of awesome artists. Instagram accounts like @ignorant_tattoos and @ignorantstyletattoo are a great place to find artists to follow. You may even find some amazing ignorant style artists near you.

Tattoo artists will regularly post tattoos they’ve done, available designs or tattoo flash that they want to do. Looking at tattoos or flash is a great way to get ideas for your own tattoo. Copying someone else’s tattoo isn’t cool, but inspiration for a new tattoo can be found everywhere.

Fire cartoon character tattooTattoo by @nolseytattoo

Andrea shares how she creates her flash designs. "Most of the time, it’s very connected to how I’m feeling," she says. "If you scroll through all my design pages, you can definitely pick on a general mood from pretty much all of my flash sheets.

"Some are just silly things that I find funny, not gonna lie, but others are a way of physically putting somewhere a feeling I’m having, so I draw it! It makes me happy people can relate to them."

Ignorant tattoo ideas

Ignorant tattoos include all sorts of subject matter, from cyber tribal and frogs, to cartoon characters and car air fresheners. There’s no limits when it comes to design ideas for ignorant tattoos. We’ve got the inspiration you need for your next ignorant tattoo.

Ignorant tattoo font

Text in ignorant style tattoos tends to look like someone has scrawled it on a post it note. It’s deliberately messy, uneven, has mistakes, words are crossed out or they’re in all caps. Tattoo fonts can resemble graffiti style tags too.

Minimalist ignorant tattoos

Ignorant tattoos use minimalist lines and shapes for a stripped back look. Black is used to colour in some of the designs, but linework creates more of a minimalist feel.

Small ignorant tattoos

Usually ignorant tattoos only need a small space of skin to share their message. Small ignorant tattoo ideas include:

  • Stick figures or cartoons
  • Wine glass
  • Smiley faces
  • Numbers
  • Dogs like dobermans
  • Flames
  • Knives or daggers

90s ignorant tattoos

The iconic 90s is a hot tattoo trend right now. From kids’ cartoons and tribal to dolphins, ignorant tattoos are bringing a fresh take on this decade.

Colour ignorant tattoos

You’ll mainly see ignorant tattoos just in black ink to keep them simple. But, some artists do line their work in other colours such as red.

Andrea explains that she "pretty much only uses colour if it’s necessary to convey the message I’m trying to say. If it makes sense without it then I probably won’t use it!"

Animal ignorant tattoos

Animals doing human things are a popular subject for ignorant tattoos. From geese holding knives in their beaks to raccoons going through the bins. Feel free to choose your favourite animal and have it do something fun and/or dumb.

cow tattooTattoo by @nolseytattoo

Handpoke ignorant tattoos

Ignorant tattoos can be done by machine, but many artists opt to hand poke their designs. This tattooing method gives these tattoos an even more handmade, authentic and DIY feel.

Where should I get an ignorant tattoo?

You can get an ignorant tattoo anywhere on your body. After all it’s your body, your choice. You could make a sleeve from ignorant tattoos, covering the skin on your arm as you go like a giant doodle pad. Go big or choose small designs, to cover as much space as you want. Or you can mix in ignorant tattoos with other pieces, creating a patchwork bodysuit.

When you’re messaging your tattoo artist they may have an idea of where your tattoo could go.

Ignorant tattoo artists we love

Oozing rebellion, humour and I don’t care attitude, ignorant tattoos can be found across the globe. Here’s just a few of the ignorant tattoo artists we’re loving right now. Let us know your favourites!

1. @diny_land - London


2. @_harrymckenzie - Brighton

3. @floppy_pigeon_pokes - UK


4. @arual.tattoo - Brighton

5. And of course Andrea @nolseytattoo!

skeleton tattooTattoo by @nolseytattoo

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