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The 5 Most Basic Tattoos that Artists Secretly Hate Doing

Do you have one of these?

Artist tattooing client's arm
Credit: LP Design/ Shutterstock

If you are itching for fresh ink but don’t know what to get, maybe you should sleep on it before going to a tattoo artist to ink the first design you find on the internet.

With the internet comes tons of tattoo trends where different people get the same recycled designs over and over again.

Noticing these trends in the tattooing world, I wondered if artists got tired of tattooing the same things repeatedly. I also wanted to know if there are designs that artists straight-up hate doing now due to these trends. As somebody with a basic tattoo myself (bee), I just had to find out which “basic” designs artists secretly hated doing. Is your current or next tattoo on this list? Keep reading to find out.

1. “What I actually don’t like is tattooing people with bad attitudes”

One of the first talented artists I had the pleasure of interviewing was Katie Mack. Her preferred styles are American traditional or Japanese traditional.

When asked which basic tattoo design she secretly dislikes doing, Katie said:

“I don’t hate doing any tattoo. I actually don’t mind doing infinity symbols, or basic script, everybody has their own taste, it’s not for me to say. I view myself as a public servant, I don’t think my artistic ego should supersede that. Infinity symbols and Roman numerals pay my bills and I’m really grateful for that.”

Artist tattooing roman numerals on client
Roman Numerals, Credit: OZGIOUN SAMPRI/ Shutterstock

Katie also said this:

“What I actually don’t like is tattooing people with bad attitudes. People who are demanding, arrogant, misogynists, or people who treat me like a slave. I typically tell those people they should find another artist/shop.”

“That’s the best thing about being a tattoo artist- you can tell fuckers like that to kick rocks. Something you can’t do in most other jobs I’ve had.”

Artist tattooing client on the back of hand
Between 8 and 27 percent of people regret one or more of their tattoos, Credit: IvanRiver/ Shutterstock

2. “Anything minimalist with super straight lines and perfect circles”

Another amazing artist I got to talk with was Charlotte Timmons. Charlotte’s style leans towards illustrative tradition with a focus on animals, nature, and Nouveau influences.

When asked about the basic tattoo she secretly dislikes doing, Charlotte said this:

“For me, it’s less about the actual tattoos and more about the overall attitude of people who get those tattoos.”

“There are some exceptions – but usually these are the people who saw a (sometimes heavily photoshopped) tattoo somewhere on social media, and decided you should do it for them- and they don’t want to pay you more than $40- which doesn’t even cover the basic set up of surgical consumables for most tattoos now!”


Charlotte also said this:

“Anything minimalist with super straight lines and perfect circles is kind of annoying to do too, because people assume it must be easier than shading… it’s definitely not!

Artist creating minimalist tattoo on client with fine lines and circles
Fine line circles, Credit: Serhii Bobyk/ Shutterstock

3. “Simple script fine line little pieces”

Another one of the fantastic artists I got to speak with was Nate Laird. Nate’s preferred style is blackwork.

Nate said this when asked about the basic tattoo he secretly dislikes recreating:

“Any basic tattoo idea that’s been done a million times. For example, simple script fine line little pieces, matching fine little line pieces.”

Artist creating fine line script style tattoo on client
Script tattoo, Credit: MDV Edwards/ Shutterstock

4. “Zodiacs, the elements, infinity symbols, etc.”

The next wonderful artist I had the pleasure of speaking with was Jasmine Rossi. Her preferred styles include dotwork, blackwork, neotraditional, and new school.

When asked about the basic tattoos she dislikes doing the most, Jasmine said:

“I don’t enjoy doing anything super minimalistic like tiny symbols or signs (i.e. zodiacs, the elements, infinity symbols etc.). Tattoos are art and creative, and it’s a great feeling when clients bring on projects that bring inspiration, passion, and creativity. The ones I dislike doing do not have any of those qualities!”

Up close hands with black rune tattoos on fingers
Rune tattoos, Credit: nuchao/ Shutterstock

5. “Watercolor tattoos”

The very talented Jesse Pierce was the final artist I had the pleasure of talking to. Jesse’s favored style is American traditional.

When asked about the basic tattoo he disliked recreating the most, Jesse said this:

“My least favorite type of tattoo or style of tattooing is watercolor tattoos. I am a water color painter myself, but water color tattoos don’t tend to hold well over time and I’m of the mind set bold will hold being a traditional tattooer. I don’t think watercolor tattoos look bad by any means, just not my cup of tea. :)”

Person walking with watercolor style cat tattoo on leg
Watercolor tattoo, Credit: nataliabschwarz/ Shutterstock

To conclude…

Do you have any of these basic tattoos? If so, sorry to say it, but you may be a little bit basic…

But that’s okay! If your current tattoo (or next tattoo) is something you enjoy, you shouldn’t feel ashamed just because it is popular.

And thanks to all the tattoo artists out there, you guys are amazing for happily tattooing tons of infinity signs and anchors (even if you hate it).

Written By

Hello! I am an English and Entomology student at the University of Florida. I love roller skating, guitar, watercolor, beekeeping, video games, and good vibes!

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Chloe Codling

    December 18, 2022 at 6:17 am

    This was a really interesting read!

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