Tattoos are said to be addicting. Despite the pain, those who get their first bit of body art are often hungry for more. And as tattoos become an increasingly accepted part of society, these ink enthusiasts are filling half or even the whole of their arms with sprawling designs. Called half sleeve and full sleeve tattoos, respectively, these impressive pieces are the result of many hours of hard work for a tattooist and a lesson in patience and perseverance for a client.
1. You’ll often see sleeve tattoos that extend all over the body. They can start on the arm and extend across the chest or start on the chest/back and extend down the arm. As you can see below, her piece extends from her arm, all the way across and down her back. The black color dramatizes the art and creates an eery look that is intensified by the pops of red.
Tattoos are beautiful representations and expressions of how we feel and it’s a great way to tell others through the imagery of art. That being said, like all art, tattoos are expensive. They take time and skill and if you want it to look good, it’ll definitely cost you. A single image is going to be a lot cheaper than a whole sleeve of art so as you contemplate whether or not you’d like to invest in a whole sleeve, make sure you allot space in your budget to make it happen. Typically you go into your shop several times in order to complete the sleeve so you may be able to work something out with your artist and do a payment plan if you plan in advance. Who knows, maybe they’ll give you a discount since you’re committing to a whole sleeve. It never hurts to ask. Once you’ve researched how much you’ll have to invest, enjoy the process and get ready to be amazed by the finished results.
To help you, at least a little, we got some design suggestions from Sean Dowdell, co-owner of Club Tattoo, which has locations in Las Vegas, as well as Mesa, Tempe, and Scottsdale, AZ. Dowdell's team has inked celebs like Slash, Miley Cyrus, Amar’e Stoudemire, Blake Shelton, Steve Aoki, and Keith Sweat. We asked him for suggestions on the most popular types of tattoos today—and ones that will look good with time, instead of feeling dated to a certain decade.
Tattoos have recently started to become more prominent than before. There’s not one part of a person’s body that hasn’t been touched by a tattoo. This form of ink art has been placed on pretty much every minor and major areas of the human body. A lot of men like having sleeve tattoos, since they give quite an impressive look, especially when they use a good design and the color combination is excellent. It’s also advisable, and even appropriate at times, to pick a good sleeve tattoo for men, when you compare it to getting inked on other parts of the body.
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Not everyone in society will appreciate a good tattoo and sometimes you might be forced to attend functions where showing off your tattoo might not be appropriate. For the neck, head, face or finger tattoos this can pose a challenge when it comes to concealment, but the sleeve tattoo will enable you to conceal your tattoo if you have to attend gatherings where the crowd is not very tattoo-friendly. The sleeve tattoo in this case becomes an advantage and underneath the shirt, you still get to maintain that symbol that means something to you.
These instruments are also remarkably similar to much later tattooing implements used in 19th-century Egypt. The English writer William Lane (1801-1876) observed, "the operation is performed with several needles (generally seven) tied together: with these the skin is pricked in a desired pattern: some smoke black (of wood or oil), mixed with milk from the breast of a woman, is then rubbed in.... It is generally performed at the age of about 5 or 6 years, and by gipsy-women.”
Historically finger tattoos get a bit of a bad wrap. Typically they use to be reserved for bikers and gang members, they also were considered a bit of a faux pas if you wanted to get a respectable job. Nowadays however they are more common place and socially acceptable. The traditional finger tattoos were to get “LOVE” on one hand and then “HATE” across the other knuckles, this was a design that was popularized by movie characters. Generally people will get either two four letter words across their knuckles or one eight or ten letter word across both of their hands.
It's very important to protect yourself against infection if you decide to get a tattoo. Make sure the tattoo studio is clean and safe, and that all equipment used is disposable (in the case of needles, ink, gloves) and sterilized (everything else). Call your state, county, or local health department to find out about your state's laws on tattooing, ask for recommendations on licensed tattoo shops, or check for any complaints about a particular studio.
Protection papers were used by American sailors to prevent themselves from being taken off American ships and impressed into the Royal Navy. These were simple documents that described the sailor as being an American sailor. Many of the protection certificates were so general, and it was so easy to abuse the system, that many impressment officers of the Royal Navy paid no attention to them. "In applying for a duplicate Seaman's Protection Certificate in 1817, James Francis stated that he 'had a protection granted him by the Collector of this Port on or about 12 March 1806 which was torn up and destroyed by a British Captain when at sea.'"  One way of making them more specific was to describe a tattoo, which is highly personal, and thus use that description to identify the seaman. As a result, many of the later certificates carried information about tattoos and scars, as well as other specific information. This also perhaps led to an increase and proliferation of tattoos among American seamen. "Frequently their 'protection papers' made reference to tattoos, clear evidence that individual was a seafaring man; rarely did members of the general public adorn themselves with tattoos."
Warrior sleeve tattoo design symbolizes power and strength. The popular warrior full sleeve tattoos include pictures of warriors and deadly weapons, basically engaged in wars. Some other symbols are also a part of these tattoo designs such as- feathers, heart, skulls, compass, musical symbols, angels, clock, arrows and dream catchers. But, to match the right symbol according to your personality it’s important to discuss it with your tattoo artist before getting inked.
But other than that possible health benefit, tattoos are just downright awesome, especially ones that cover a lot of skin like a sleeve does. It provides the most personal and artistic expression, just due to its massive size. Plus, a tattoo sleeve takes multiple tattoo sessions, so there is plenty of time to get used to and fall in love with a new design.
There is nothing like a great looking sleeve tattoo on a masculine arm to draw attention from all corners. Most well done sleeve tattoos for guys make them look more masculine and exude that charming effect especially on the women. Show off your sleeve tattoo in casual social gatherings by wearing a fitting t-shirt and you will attract all sorts of people, from the admirers and artistic souls to the openly envious ones. Work out regularly to keep the arm muscles firm and the sleeve tattoo will look appealing every day.
82. A sleeve like this is timeless. It’s incredible. There are so many levels and different variations. It was probably done in installments and it’s a fascinating piece. You can see on the top of the shoulder how that was probably one piece and then he continued to add on throughout his arm. The artist did a rather stellar job in making the entire piece flow so well. That’s not an easy accomplishment and this artist makes it look simple!
The length of an arm provides an incredible canvas for a tattooist. They have a lot of space to work with, and it gives them the opportunity to explore complex imagery that reads like a story on the skin. Or if they prefer abstraction, sleeves are the chance to create a collision of patterns. The conceptual possibilities are endless. Some artists completely cover the skin, like Little Andy who transformed the lower half of his client’s arm into a swirling galaxy. But for those that favor the minimalist approach, La Malafede showcases the impact of a single line as it traces the inside of the whole arm.
Jump up ^ Broadwell, Albert H. (27 January 1900). "Sporting pictures on the human skin". Country Life. Article describing work of society tattooist Sutherland Macdonald Archived 3 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine. refers to his clientele including "members of our Royal Family, among them H.R.H. the Duke of York, H.I.M. the Czarevitch, and Imperial and Royal members of Russian, German and Spanish courts...."
Sleeve tattoos are a collaboration between a tattoo artist and customer to demonstrate a personal and unified artistic theme. Other times, a sleeve is created when a person has many smaller tattoos on their arm and later has them connected with background tattooing to form a sleeve. Planned sleeves generally require many long hours of tattooing and can take weeks, months or years to complete.
The sleeve tattoos for men are very expressive. Any man spotting a sleeve tattoo is viewed as open-minded and less likely to be alarmed by any controversial topics that might be discussed. With that impression, the people around them will be more open because they view the man as expressive and bold since they were bold enough to get a sleeve tattoo and show it off to the world in the first place. The sleeve tattoo can be a unique expression of what one stands for or their personal story depending of course on the design.
Although Maori women were also tattooed on their faces, the markings tended to be concentrated around the nose and lips. Although Christian missionaries tried to stop the procedure, the women maintained that tattoos around their mouths and chins prevented the skin becoming wrinkled and kept them young; the practice was apparently continued as recently as the 1970s.
24. The eye here has a reflection in it that is impossibly hard to do. The statue looks real and the contrast the artist was able to convey is just unreal. This piece is one of our favorites because it evokes such emotion to the observer. The eye makes your heart ache as the candles represent some sort of vigil or homage to someone or something in the past.
Ancient tattooing traditions have also been documented among Papuans and Melanesians, with their use of distinctive obsidian skin piercers. Some archeological sites with these implements are associated with the Austronesian migration into Papua New Guinea and Melanesia. But other sites are older than the Austronesian expansion, being dated to around 1650 to 2000 BCE, suggesting that there was a preexisting tattooing tradition in the region.