Meet the Brazilian Artist With a Growing Cult Following for Her “Trash Tattoos”

Lead Photo: Art by Alan López for Remezcla
Art by Alan López for Remezcla
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Helen Fernandes, 26, doesn’t consider herself a particularly good artist, but it hasn’t stopped her from becoming an in-demand tattoo artist. The Salvador de Bahia-based Fernandes describes her creations as “trash tattoos.” They’re comprised of stick figures, scribbles, and doodles. They’re not exactly what you’d call masterpieces. But Helen began inking her stick-and-poke style tattoos on her boyfriend. Soon after, her friends asked for similar tats, and it’s taken off from there.

Those seeking her work don’t expect something exceptional; instead, they’re looking for something unique. “People are coming to me just because they want something done in my personal style, because if they wanted something super well done, they would look for another artist,” she told Lost at E Minor. “Quality is not my forte.”

After her work went viral, some tattoo artists criticized her for mocking the industry. But Fernandes – who doesn’t have a creative process – doesn’t claim to be anything other than what she is. She’s someone creating tattoos that people find funny.

“I am aware that my work is bad,” she added. “It is not my intention to make a mockery of the art of tattooing. I don’t think I am good at it. But even if the public likes my tattoos, I am not competing with talented tattoo artists. I think there is enough room for everyone in this world.”

Check out some of her creations below: