Tattoo artists are artists. Artists love variety and there comes a point when you are drawing on people's skin that you just think, "no. I do not want to do that again."
Everybody has personal taste, so not every tattoo artist will be annoyed by an infinity symbol on your wrist. But still, don't be surprised if your request for the word "Always" in cursive gets turned down and you need to find another artist.
Here were some of those answers.
Nautical sleeves. I'm from an island and it is brutal trying to make it "unique" when every fifth person has one. Anchors compasses maps etc. Feathers and pocketwatches are close seconds.
Undertones of Criminal Activity
When I was getting my admittedly rather generic tattoo done on my chest, which i didn't feel the artist was particularly into but hey he was polite enough, we heard the receptionist say "look we'd never do that and if you phone back we're calling the police".
Some dude had phoned up and asked if they'd tattoo a naked, crying little girl on his back...
Some people try to be way too edgy with tattoos...
Someone's Gonna Smack You, If It Ain't God
Late to the party, and my first tattoo was a tramp stamp on my 21st birthday, but one of the things my 2004 tattooist told me was that he was doing at least one Godsmack sun a day, a design from whatever album they had out at the time, and as I was sitting there getting tatted, a dude walks in asking for that exact thing. I busted out laughing, but my guy was professional. He told him he would do it but that he would feel more comfortable doing something more custom. The guy didn't sway, though, and after I finished up, dude got himself a Godsmack tattoo.
Too Many Deets
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. Or like minnie mouse holding a football team's logo in front of her while also being within a pink cancer ribbon but wanting the image too small. Small enough that it wouldnt even look good with how much detail it would need.
I worked as a shop manager for a little bit. 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. I had to start politely turning them down when people called to inquire about them.
"Sorry, Ian's not really interested in doing more big cats this month."
Tweet At My Bills
I'm an apprentice right now, but practically all of the artists in my shop have agreed on a few things.
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."
The Worth Of Hygiene
UK tattoo artist. Okay, pocket watches with roses surrounding them have started to die out bit one or two years ago, my god they were rife.
The worst part is when the customer says they want one they follow with, I've got an idea to make it special and unique to me. And I'd say ..."you want the time your baby was born don't you?". ..."omg how did you know" -_-.
This year it has definitely moved on to lions, tigers etc wearing crowns, it's always the guys that have to check with their lass if the design is ok before they start too. Like mentioned before however, I'll take a pocket watch with a lions face in the centre, birds flying off it merging into an infinity symbol with each bird having its own individual birthstone of the families lost cats over the years, than a smelly person.
Scary Personality Types
I apprenticed in a shop but had to move before I was able to start tattooing myself. What I noticed personally is the artists in the shop weren't necessarily tired of doing the same designs as the personality of people getting them. Such as, "guy who thinks he has a crazy pain tolerance but almost passes out," "girl/guy who freaks her/himself out to the point of shaking/puking and backs out at the last minute," and really anyone who could use attention to hygiene. The list goes on and on.
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.
Live Laugh LoveGiphy
My first tattoo was "I love you forever and always" in my mom's handwriting on my foot. While my tattoo artist was doing it another artist came in the room to ask what I was getting, when he found out it was script on my foot he asked, "let me guess, 'live, laugh, love'?" He awkwardly left after we explained it wasn't that and in fact my mom's handwriting. So. I'd say he's sick of that.