Tattoos, like everything else, go through different fashions and fads. In the United Kingdom, one artist recalls spending an entire summer tattooing pocket watches surrounded by roses onto people. "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,' and they'd say 'oh my god, how did you know?'"
In fact, trying to make anything "unique" is trickier than most customers think. "I'm from an island and fuck is it brutal trying to make nautical sleeve tattoos "unique" when every fifth person has one," reads one comment. Trying to convince someone that they probably don't want a tattoo of a word in Chinese or Japanese is also tricky.
The trend for timepieces has since been replaced by photorealistic depictions of lions wearing crowns, for guys who want to feel like kings. Another popular choice is silhouettes of forests around forearms, which one artist called "the new tribal tattoo."
The most commonly cited source of frustration on the thread was the infinity symbol: bonus points if the infinity sign includes a feather, or a word like "believe". Bird silhouettes, the Deathly Hallows symbol from Harry Potter, and variations on "live, laugh, love" all fall into this category, which one artist describes as "basically anything from Pinterest."
However, an apprentice recalls some pragmatic advice their mentor gave them: "Thats your job security. Youll always have girls coming in for the most basic tattoos, and no matter how tired you get of them, theyll pay your bills."