Getting a tattoo is a big decision – they are for life after all.
Before you commit to it, it’s important to do your research – and we’re not just talking about what design you want.
As well as choosing your studio wisely, you should also do a little digging into the artist before you sit down to get permanently marked.
Every artist has a different style and preference on what they like to ink so you want to make sure that you’re picking the right one for you.
Whilst some like black and white photorealist sketches, others might prefer to ink watercolour designs or mandalas.
But there are a few designs that tattoo artists can’t stand – here’s the top six.
Tota Volpe-Landi from Happy Sailor Tattoo in London told The Sun that most tattooists – herself included – prefer big tattoos over small, dainty inks.
She said that although she has a few smaller tattoos that mean a lot to her, she prefers to tattoo designs with thicker lines over super fine lines as they last a lot longer.
Tiny tattoos also do not heal as well as their larger counterparts, something that Naresh, a London-based artist and owner of Flamin’ Eight explained.
He said that even if they survive the initial healing stage, they tend not to age well.
And more often than not, after the dressings are removed and lines fade and blur, people regret their choice.
Infinity and beyond
The infinity symbol is one of the most commonly-seen tattoos around, so it’s not a surprise that artists get bored of doing the design.
Stefan Dinu, from Inkaholics in London, went as far as to say it’s the design he hates the most purely because of “the volume of inquiries we got throughout the years, it’s a design that makes you roll your eyes and say ‘not again!'”
Feathers and birds
Although feather and bird tattoos are a popular choice, it’s not a firm favourite with artists as Stefan thinks it lacks originality and inspiration.
With so many people with the same tattoo, Stefan doesn’t understand why anyone would pick it.
Roses, pocket watches and roman numerals are also some of the most commonly seen tattoos on people up and down the country.
Now, lions with crowns are becoming increasingly popular but Tota absolutely “loathes them”.
While she acknowledges that everyone seems to love this new lion craze, she thinks it looks “weird”.
Explaining why she doesn’t like them, she says it’s probably how the crown sits on the lion’s head.
Stefan added that getting a tattoo that is fashionable is risky as “fashion comes and goes.”
Instead, he suggests getting something unique and meaningful – something that will still be representative of you when you’ve grown old.
For Stefan, name tattoos are his pet peeve – especially if it’s a partner’s name.
He said: “After 17 years as a tattoo artist I still don’t understand why people get their partners’ names on them, especially at the beginning of a relationship.”
In his experience, most often than not, these people are the ones who are the first to get a tattoo removed.
In place of your loved one’s name, he suggests thinking of something that represents the love each person has for the other.
Whether it be celebrities like Post Malone, Amber Rose or Lil Wayne with face tattoos, or Cara Delevingne, Rita Ora, and Lana Del Rey with hand designs, there’s always a flurry of admiring superfans wanting to get the same ink as their favourite celebs.
But Tom Abbott, founder of IYNK, said that you might find it hard to find a studio that will tattoo on your hands, face, or feet as a lot of places have policies against these areas.
Avram Nikolic-Parry, a tattoo artist available through IYNK, says the Cheryl Cole-style hand tattoos are some of the most “basic.”
The issue with tattooing in this place is that the lines always fade over time.
Tattoos that artists will refuse to do
Artists will rarely convince a customer not to get a design that they’ve set their heart on – but they will try and guide them in the right direction.
Although Tota will do her best to give the customer what they want, she will turn down any work she doesn’t feel comfortable taking on, for example, tatting people who are either intoxicated or who are underage.
She’ll also turn away customers who want very visible tattoos on their neck, hands and face.
Stefan said he doesn’t encourage people to have ink in these places, and will often book these appointments months in advance in the hopes the customer will change their mind.
If people ask for hand or finger ink, he’ll also politely decline.
“We try to put things in perspective and ask them, ‘how would it be if you had to wear your favourite baseball cap all your life…?’ And that’s when they started having second thoughts and really sleep on it,” he said.
Naresh from Flamin Eight said he’ll also refuse to do a design that could be seen as offensive.