Tattoo Artists Reveal The Designs That Are Overdone By Their Clients

Brittany Rae 2 Oct 2020

Have you ever noticed that some tattoos are far more common than others? Simple symbols and trends tend to get oversaturated in the tattoo world, and tattoo artists are a little tired of it.

From infinity symbols to trees, Reddit tattoo artists have answered our most pressing tattoo question: Is my tattoo basic?

(Yeah, I have some basic tattoos, too. Happens to the best of us.)

1. This tattoo is kind of iconic.

Reddit | Stalhound

"Not me, but my sister. It’s not a specific thing, but she hates when people want tattoos with too many ideas in it, and by that I mean, for example, a lord of the rings character holding a lightsaber while fighting a dementor on a velociraptor with a banner that says clever girl."

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2. Anchor tattoos.

Unsplash | Miguel Constantin Montes

"Its an anchor to symbolize I can't be held down."

Well, I have bad news about what anchors do. Many artists are super tired of anchors, mostly because the people who get them don't understand the meaning behind them.

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3. I was surprised at this one.

Tattoo To Do

"From my tattoo artist friend: pocket watches surrounded by roses."

Apparently, these tattoos were a massive trend a few years ago. Have you ever seen one in real life?

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4. Infinity loops.

Unsplash | Matheus Ferrero

"Infinity symbols (especially with words), anchors, birds, feathers that turn into birds.

However, that being said, my mentor followed that up with, 'But, that’s your job security. You’ll always have girls coming in for the most basic tattoos, and no matter how tired you get of them, they’ll pay your bills.'"

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5. Anything in Latin.

Instagram | @kenhanaoka

"Asked my buddy. He said, "If I have to do another [expletive] Latin paragraph on a chick's ribs..." Ironically, he was doing one on his GF at the time he told me..."

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6. This one bummed me out, because I'm basic and I would totally get one.

Sum Coco

"Not an artist, but the tattoo shop I go to back home in the Caribbean has a running tally of how many times they have to tattoo palm trees on girls ankles."


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7. I'm glad we as a society have moved past mustaches.

Inked Cartel

"Not a tattoo artist, but so many people I've seen get the mustache on the inside of your pointer finger. I feel like that fad has to have gotten old with a few artists."

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8. Copying an existing tattoo is really uncomfortable for the artist.

Giphy | 2017 MTV EMA

"Other people’s tattoos. Bringing a reference is great. Bringing a photo of someone else’s tattoo already on them and saying you will not accept anything less than an exact copy is the worst. "

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9. Anyone remember Tasmanian devil tattoos?

Tattoo To Do

"My husband's dad was a tattoo artist, I believe in the '90s. Anyway, he HATES Tasmanian devil tattoos from Looney Tunes. He makes the most disgusted face and walks away from me if I mention them."

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10. Tiny everything.


"Basically for me it’s when people want a tiny tattoo with like 12 different subjects in it. That isn’t how it works! Stop it! I know you want an anchor infinity dream catcher pocket watch rose with “grace” written with the swoopiest of script and birds flying off of it but it’s not going to fit on your damn finger!"

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11. Forest bands have burned some artists right out.

DeviantArt | ripley23

"If I never have to tattoo the [expletive] pine forest silhouettes or a realistic American flag again it’ll be too soon. Be the kind of person that gets a cyborg wizard or something."

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12. But don't worry, a lot of artists want you to get whatever you want.


"None. I'm happy to do all of them. I get my satisfaction from a job well done, not from how cool the tattoo is. Don't get me wrong, I have things I enjoy drawing more than others, but tattooing is a trade first. It's not about me it's about my client."

h/t: AskReddit

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13. Snakes and skulls.


"[...] snake coming out of the eye of a skull and why does the guy who wants this tattoo always have a perfectly groomed goatee."

I have seen this tattoo about a billion times, tbh.

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14. Joe Exotic is going to be so upset.

Reddit | AlphaGodBC

"My boss/the head artist was getting super burnt out on big cats (specifically lions) wearing crowns. In about a month, he'd done 5 realistic lions (and a panther) wearing crowns on dudes who wanted to feel like kings."

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