The Brief: An art boy is an archetype based on a boy who is interested in art and follows certain trends.
Style-wise, an art boy may be found wearing a tiny beanie, a single earing, ripped jeans, stick and poke tattoo, and a cross-body fanny pack. There is much overlap between their fashion sense and that of eBoys, soft boys, grunge boys, skater boys, and hipsters.
Like other labels of the day, the art boi is ultimately just a stereotype. While someone may match the personality or aesthetics of this trend, it doesn’t mean that they consider themselves to be an art boi or that they even like art. Likewise, just because a man or boy is interested in art does not necessarily mean that he fits the bill.
This term is often used in reference to romance and dating with some negative fuccboi-related connotations. A stereotype often associated with art boys is that while some people may find them particularly attractive, they do not always make for great partners due to their self-absorption, immaturity, veiled toxic masculinity, or because they are looking for a “muse” rather than a relationship. Conversely, the phrase might more positively refer to a boy or man who is creative, sensitive, and stylish.
While this label is less straightforward and specific than others of the day like VSCO girl, it’s often used by young people looking to classify a certain type of artsy young man. “Art boi/boy” can have a range of connotations. The meaning of the phrase will typically depend on the personal experiences of the person using it.