The art of tattooing has been around for thousands and thousands of years. According to Smithsonian Magazine, tattoos date all the way back to ancient Egypt with mummies sporting their own ink. It’s as popular as ever today, and now, you can choose between different tattooing methods such as stick and poke or a tattoo machine. If you’re not looking for something permanent but still want to test-drive a style and placement, you can even get realistic temporary tattoos. As for placement, popular tattoo spots are on ankles, backs, and biceps, according to Authority Tattoo.
With the practice being around for so long, there are bound to be tattoo designs that first-time or seasoned tattoo clients gravitate towards. We get it, certain designs can be trendy. You might even search through Pinterest and find your future tattoo design. Even if someone has a similar design as you, the significance and meaning behind it can make a world of difference. Still, there are tattoos that some artists see over and over and are, quite frankly, over. There are only so many times a tattoo artist can ink someone asking for a common tattoo design and feel pumped about doing so. Still, if you feel very excited about getting one of these commonly requested tattoo designs, don’t let these tattoo artist accounts deter you.
Here are 18 designs tattoo artists are tired of doing.
1. Infinity Symbols
An infinity symbol is a never-ending loop that can mean anything along the lines of “limitless,” “forever,” or “always.”
Unfortunately, according to many comments on the Reddit thread Tattoo artists, what pieces are you tired of doing?, it’s the design tattoo artists are totally over. One Reddit user wrote that the infinity symbol is so overdone that the artists at the tattoo shop started a game to see who tattooed the design the most. The winner of the game won a tattoo. The only rule was the winner wasn’t allowed to get an infinity symbol tattoo.
2. Light Or Pastel Colors
Regardless of the design, tattoos that require light-colored ink can be a pain to do, even for more experienced tattoo artists.
“The lighter the color is, the harder it is to get a smooth fill in because the blood comes through the pigment and makes it very difficult to see how well it is laying into the skin,” Dave ‘Azma’ Knauer of Mythic Ink Tattoo in Pittman, New Jersey, told The List. Specifically, whites, blues, and greens tend to be more difficult to work with.
3. Couples’ Tattoos
Not just any couple tattoos, but specifically designs involving partners’ names.
There’s nothing wrong with expressing love for your partner, but tattoo artists probably all agree that there are probably better ways to do so than a tattoo. According to laser surgeons who spoke to Bustle, an ex’s name is one of the most commonly removed tattoos. Remember, taking off a ring is a lot easier (and cheaper and less painful) than getting a tattoo removed.
4. Finger Tattoos
So this one isn’t a pet peeve of a particular design, but the placement of the tattoo.
Finger tattoos have become increasingly trendy. They’re typically small, delicate, and sometimes discrete. Unfortunately, its a tattoo placement some artists aren’t huge fans of. For starters, they don’t tend to last very long. According to Bustle, finger tattoos fade more quickly because of how often we use our hands. If you get a finger tattoo, expect to get it touched up frequently.
5. Pocket Watches And Clocks
Pocket watches were incredibly popular accessories back in the day.
And they’re still in fashion now, except in the form of tattoos. On the tattoo artists’ Reddit thread, there were many comments from annoyed tattoo artists about how overdone pocket watch and clock tattoos are. Surely, some might hold significance to a special event or time, but seriously, a LOT of people have pocket watch and clock tattoos.
A rose is a classic tattoo design, which is probably why so many people have them.
Roses can symbolize love, balance, beauty, and a rose with thorns can translate to a darker meaning like loss or defensiveness, according to Underground Ink. Many people choose solo rose pieces, but others accompany them with a pocket watch (another design on our list). Reddit user Justalittlecomment wrote, “I tell my clients [I’m] sold out of pocket watches and flowers.”
We get it. You travel.
Maybe you had a life-changing experience abroad or there’s a location that you hold near and dear to your heart — so much so that you want to get a tattoo of the exact coordinates. Well, you wouldn’t be the first to do this, and you definitely won’t be the last. According to one Reddit user, many people take a little piece of home with them by getting the coordinates to their hometown tattooed on them.
Anchor tattoos can have many different interpretations.
It can be tied to faith or having a strong foundation. According to some Reddit users, clients will come in with common representations of their anchor tattoos from “refuse to sink” and “can’t be held down.” Regardless of why people get a seemingly counterintuitive tattoo design, it’s a popular tattoo that many artists have done time and time again. Dublin-based tattoo artist Ryan Sean Kelly told Vice that the design was especially popular when model Kate Moss revealed her very own anchor tattoo.
Even if you consider yourself a king or a queen, maybe don’t get a tattoo of a crown.
Reddit user hazard0666 wrote how much they despised crown tattoos because of how often people ask for them. “With that being said… I did one tonight,” the user wrote. If you’re trying to show off your King or Queen status, maybe try a regal symbol that is more subtle.
10. Big Cats
We’re not talking large tattoos of small, domestic cats either.
We’re talking big, wild cats, such as lions and tigers. Depending on what kind of big cat, tattoos can hold different meanings, according to Custom Tattoo Design. As beautiful as these tattoos can be, they’re quite popular. One tattoo artist even claimed to feel a little burnt out from doing so many big cat tattoos.
We see barcodes on products at the grocery store, but tattoo artists see a lot of them in the studio.
According to one Reddit user, a tattoo artist got so bored of the same old barcode tattoo design they got a little more creative with it.
“Friend of a friend got so tired of doing barcodes on people’s necks that he made a game of using the silliest products as references,” Reddit user Bobvankay wrote. So now some customers have barcodes for products such as mashed potatoes and a bag of nuts.
12. Shadow Birds
Yes, the tattoo design is simple, but that doesn’t mean tattoo artists want you to get it.
You might have one, you might have many, but shadow birds are officially over, according to the tattoo artists of Reddit. We’re not going to lie, these designs can look really pretty, but as one Reddit user wrote, the nature of the design may cause the tattoos to blend and turn into “blobs.”
Dreamcatchers can be incredibly beautiful and represent keeping away negative energy, according to You Queen.
According to one Reddit user, dreamcatchers are grouped in with infinity symbols and anchors in terms of tattoos that artists are tired of doing. But in defense of dreamcatchers, there are so many ways to incorporate something new to the design and make it your own. While dreamcatchers cross Native cultures (and are not generally seen as a form of cultural appropriation), you should always double check before getting a cultural symbol permanently inked on you.
14. Palm Trees
A palm tree is another tattoo design so popular artists allegedly made a game of it.
Similar to the infinity symbol tattoo, one tattoo parlor got the request so often that there’s a running tally of how many they do. But we can only imagine how many of these requests they get, being that they’re on an island with tons of palm trees. On the bright side, at least they have plenty of real-life subjects for reference.
15. Snakes And Skulls
Snakes, skulls, and snakes coming out of skulls are all the rage at some tattoo parlors.
Snakes and skulls can be bold tattoos all on their own. A snake and a skull together? Now that really packs a punch. The design sounds rebellious and all, but for some artists, it’s a recipe for boredom. One Reddit user wrote that when it comes to skulls they “can’t even count how many [they’ve] done.”
16. Tribal Designs
Did you see this one coming?
Tribal tattoos seem to have been around since the beginning of time. Although tribal tattoos hold significant meaning to some, it’s essentially solely for aesthetics for some. Unsurprisingly, tattoo artists have claimed that they’ve done one too many and they’re simply tired of doing them. Again, like with the dreamcatchers, make sure you aren’t appropriating someone’s culture with a “trendy” tattoo design.
17. The Deathly Hallows Symbol From Harry Potter
Only true Harry Potter fans will know the meaning behind this tattoo.
The thing is there are millions of Harry Potter fans all over the world. Seriously, the Harry Potter fandom is so big there’s an entire theme park at Universal Studios dedicated to it. Naturally, with so many die-hard fans wanting to cherish the series forever, they got tattoos of the Deathly Hallows symbol.
18. Koi Fish
Koi fish are symbols of good luck and abundance, so it’s easy to see why people may gravitate toward them.
Like any other tattoo, you can add your own flair to a koi fish design. You can use unique color schemes or backgrounds, but it was only a matter of time until the idea became so played out that it started boring some tattoo artists, according to one Reddit user.