Today's the day, you're ready to commit, and you just know in your heart — it's tattoo time! Now you need help figuring out how to pick a full tattoo sleeve theme. I've been on a mission for Bustle, interviewing tattoo artists all over the Bay Area. My goal has been to learn more about tattoo sleeves so I can help ladies who are ready to go under the gun, but still need more information. I've covered what part of a tattoo sleeve hurts the most and facts to know before getting started. I wrote a piece answering how long does a full sleeve tattoo take and how to deal with aftercare. But I honestly think picking the theme is the most exciting part.

Since the 1970s, tattoos have become a mainstream part of Western fashion, common among both genders, to all economic classes[citation needed] and to age groups from the later teen years to middle age. For many young Americans, the tattoo has taken on a decidedly different meaning than for previous generations. The tattoo has "undergone dramatic redefinition" and has shifted from a form of deviance to an acceptable form of expression.[61]
Hildebrandt began traveling from camp to camp to tattoo soldiers, making his popularity increase, and also giving birth to the tradition of getting tattoos while being an American serviceman. Soon after the Civil War, tattoos became fashionable among upper-class young adults. This trend lasted until the beginning of World War I. The invention of the electric tattoo machine caused popularity of tattoos among the wealthy to drop off. The machine made the tattooing procedure both much easier and cheaper, thus, eliminating the status symbol tattoos previously held, as they were now affordable for all socioeconomic classes. The status symbol of a tattoo shifted from a representation of wealth, to a mark typically seen on rebels and criminals. Despite this change, tattoos remained popular among military servicemen, and the tradition continues today.
In the Maori culture of New Zealand, the head was considered the most important part of the body, with the face embellished by incredibly elaborate tattoos or ‘moko,’ which were regarded as marks of high status. Each tattoo design was unique to that individual and since it conveyed specific information about their status, rank, ancestry and abilities, it has accurately been described as a form of id card or passport, a kind of aesthetic bar code for the face. After sharp bone chisels were used to cut the designs into the skin, a soot-based pigment would be tapped into the open wounds, which then healed over to seal in the design. With the tattoos of warriors given at various stages in their lives as a kind of rite of passage, the decorations were regarded as enhancing their features and making them more attractive to the opposite sex.
For more than 5,000 years, people have been subjecting themselves to ink-stained needles in an attempt to turn their bodies into art. The 25th-anniversary edition of Taschen’s 1000 Tattoos explores the history of body art around the world, from Maori facial engravings to skinhead markings to ’20s circus ladies to awful drunken mistakes (hello, ankle dolphin tattoo). Edited by art historian Burkhard Riemschneider and inker of the stars Henk Schiffmacher (who’s also head of the Amsterdam Tattoo Museum), the book offers 1,000 images of people who have permanently altered their bodies with ink in ways shocking (a butt turned into a giant face), beautiful (the work of contemporary tattoo art stars), and unfortunate (so many exes’ names).
Sleeves are not easily covered unless you have a long sleeved shirt on. Some people choose to stop their sleeve before their watch so that people in the workforce can’t see it, even when they shake someone’s hand. Other people choose to extend the work past their wrists and onto their hands. It’s a personal preference and different for every individual.

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.
It’s one of the favorite tattoo designs among women and they love to get it inked on their legs.This full sleeve tattoo idea reveals a huge diversity to the outside world. The design includes images of flowers, cherries and butterflies and together they form a beautiful custom design. The design reflects all the beautiful elements of women’s life and how they bring happiness in her life.
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.
The term "sleeve" is a reference to the tattoo's size similarity in coverage to a long shirt sleeve on an article of clothing. In this manner, the term is also used as a verb; for example, "getting sleeved" means to have one's entire arm tattooed. The term is also sometimes used in reference to a large leg tattoo that covers a person's leg in a similar manner[citation needed].

"In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, tattoos were as much about self-expression as they were about having a unique way to identify a sailor's body should he be lost at sea or impressed by the British navy. The best source for early American tattoos is the protection papers issued following a 1796 congressional act to safeguard American seamen from impressment. These proto-passports catalogued tattoos alongside birthmarks, scars, race, and height. Using simple techniques and tools, tattoo artists in the early republic typically worked on board ships using anything available as pigments, even gunpowder and urine. Men marked their arms and hands with initials of themselves and loved ones, significant dates, symbols of the seafaring life, liberty poles, crucifixes, and other symbols."[64]


The elaborate tattoos of the Polynesian cultures are thought to have developed over millennia, featuring highly elaborate geometric designs, which in many cases can cover the whole body. Following James Cook's British expedition to Tahiti in 1769, the islanders' term "tatatau" or "tattau," meaning to hit or strike, gave the west our modern term "tattoo." The marks then became fashionable among Europeans, particularly so in the case of men such as sailors and coal-miners, with both professions which carried serious risks and presumably explaining the almost amulet-like use of anchors or miner's lamp tattoos on the men's forearms.
Jump up ^ Danish TV programme "Min krop til andres forfærdelse" or "My body to the dismay of others" aired on DR 3 1.July 9pm CEST. A man who at a younger age had competed with his older brother to obtain the largest tattoos, experienced an infection years later originating in the red portions of the tattoos, resulting in his left leg being amputated piece by piece. Also, a woman with incipient problems at her two formerly red roses was followed as her skin was removed.

Yet, as in so many other areas of adornment, there was of course cross-cultural influences, such as those which existed between the Egyptians and Nubians, the Thracians and Greeks and the many cultures encountered by Roman soldiers during the expansion of the Roman Empire in the final centuries B.C. and the first centuries A.D. And, certainly, Polynesian culture is thought to have influenced Maori tattoos.


A sleeve tattoo comes from the cooperation between the tattooist and the customer, in order to show a theme that they have both liked and agreed on. Occasionally, the sleeve is made when someone has plenty of small, individual tattoos found on their leg or arm. This person eventually has them linked to each other with a background tattooing, to be able to create a complete sleeve tattoo. A full sleeve tattoo can take endless hours of non-stop tattooing, sometimes taking days, weeks, months, and even years to finish. Tattoo sleeves have become so popular that plenty of clothing companies have created apparel that simulates the look and feel of a tattoo sleeve with the help of a transparent mesh, that’s printed with tattoo designs. If a person gets both of their arms tattooed as a part of a full-body tattoo, this is also referred to as a sleeve tattoo.
Full Sleeve Warrior Tattoos – The warrior full sleeve design may present the pictures of warriors and weapons, engaged in conflicts and wars. Such a tattoo design reflects sheer power and strength. Other designs may include elements such as hearts, dreamcatchers, feathers, arrow, and skulls. Clock, compass, geometric, anchor, musical symbols and angels are some other common things used in such a design. One can have as many of them included in tattoo sleeves design as he wants, but it has to be discussed with the designers, right from the beginning stages of the tattoo, so that he can plan the design accordingly.

Bleeding is normal and will continue for the first two nights after a fresh tattoo. Some redness and swelling is also normal in the first week. You should become concerned when there is pus, a foul odor, and extreme swelling and inflammation that continues for more than a week. If you feel discomfort and suspect an infection, call your doctor or tattoo parlor immediately.
Because this seemed to be an exclusively female practice in ancient Egypt, mummies found with tattoos were usually dismissed by the (male) excavators who seemed to assume the women were of "dubious status," described in some cases as "dancing girls." The female mummies had nevertheless been buried at Deir el-Bahari (opposite modern Luxor) in an area associated with royal and elite burials, and we know that at least one of the women described as "probably a royal concubine" was actually a high-status priestess named Amunet, as revealed by her funerary inscriptions.
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.
Getting a tattoo, although a permanent decision regardless, can yield all sorts of different results as the years go by. Some of the tattoos that look coolest in the short-term may end up changing drastically over time. And this can be really frustrating if you weren't prepared. Luckily, there are some tattoos that look better with age, and tattoo artists know exactly what they are.
"If the tattoo has small, tight intricate details, they will be lost with time as the cells change and move," Gehrlich says. "When the design is larger, there is more room for displacement and allows the design to still be readable." As your skin ages, your tattoo will change. Getting a larger design may help you prepare for the way it will look later on.
Another thing to consider while deciding on your tattoo sleeves is whether you’ll go with color or not. Sleeve tattoos using only black and grey can look amazing, but there’s nothing more eye-catching and vibrant than an arm full of color. If you do go with color, it’s vital that you plan your tattoo beforehand so you don’t end up with a combination of colors down the road that don’t look too great together. Also keep in mind that a colored sleeve tattoo will require more time and money.
The Japanese sleeve tattoo has long been accepted as a symbol of both spiritual and social status. Although after World War II, the Emperor of Japan was quick to outlaw them since he wants to improve the country’s appearance. And much like anything else that gets outlawed, people began envying what they couldn’t have – Which is what happened in the case of the Yakuza, also known as the Japanese mafia. The Yakuza weren’t the only ones to adopt the traditional art of tattooing – Foreigners did the same as well. The Japanese style sleeve tattoo has a beautiful floral design, a deep meaning, as well as a colorful motif.
Choose a few symbols. Once you have the style, the theme, and the message in mind, you should pick out some symbols to add meaning to the overall design. For example, if you love the ocean and wanted to get a tribal style tattoo that represented heartbreak, you might think about incorporating symbols such as hearts, wilting roses, a shipwrecked boat, a broken anchor, waves crashing into a heart-shaped rock, etc.
Today's the day, you're ready to commit, and you just know in your heart — it's tattoo time! Now you need help figuring out how to pick a full tattoo sleeve theme. I've been on a mission for Bustle, interviewing tattoo artists all over the Bay Area. My goal has been to learn more about tattoo sleeves so I can help ladies who are ready to go under the gun, but still need more information. I've covered what part of a tattoo sleeve hurts the most and facts to know before getting started. I wrote a piece answering how long does a full sleeve tattoo take and how to deal with aftercare. But I honestly think picking the theme is the most exciting part.
The one and only thing that a person should keep in mind before getting the tattoo inked is that it requires a great deal of commitment, enough money and time. Don’t’ forget that once you get this tattoo inked it’s hard to get it removed because of its size and prominence. Sleeve tattoos are designed only to increase your style statement. Though the placement of the tattoo is determined on the size and design of the tattoo, but some spots that are favored both by men and women includes arms and legs area.

Sleeve tattoos look good on masculine arms, since they tend to catch attention from almost everyone. Plenty of nicely illustrated sleeve tattoos for men give them a rugged, manlier look, and bring out a appealing effect especially towards the ladies. You can brandish that sleeve tattoo of yours in plenty of casual events, through sporting a sleeveless jacket or shirt. This also attracts loads of looks from people, from artistic souls and admirers, to the more jealous ones. Always work out constantly to keep those leg or arm muscles looking toned, and your tattoo will surely look better even as you get older.


Your next consideration should be where you want your tattoo. Is it something you want to show off, easily conceal or reveal, or a more personal project that only you will see? Your body will be your canvas, so it’s important to choose a portion of your anatomy appropriate to your art. Back pieces are exceptionally well suited to larger concepts, which you may want to expand at some future date. If you just want to start small, the bicep or the forearm are ideal for more contained show pieces, discrete emblems that can be worked into “sleeves”—either half or full—at a later time.

One of the most popular choices among full tattoo sleeve ideas and designs is the original Maori tattoo designs, which feature common tribal elements like – spirals. These tattoos are gaining importance because of simple design and use of free space. The design of the tattoo looks amazing and eye-catchy because when the shapes interact they complement each other.
If you know that eventually you want a full sleeve, then Gualteros advises coming up with the full-arm design ahead of time, instead of starting off with just a few sporadic tattoo ideas. This is true for both tribal-style tattoos as well as a series of more random, disconnected ones. “When you’re working with a blank canvas, you can really think through the entire composition to make it cohesive,” he says. “If you’re working with existing tattoos, you just have to try to make it as seamless as possible.”

Regardless, if you are going to start with a single tattoo, in any location, be sure to tell your artist that your eventual end goal is a full sleeve. “She or he can leave the piece in a way that it can be added to in time,” Gualteros says. “Basically, to get the best result for this, you should ask for flow.” (That’s tattoo-artist speak for “something that will flow nicely with other designs”.)
Inktober Day 4 magentahorse 2 0 Snake tattoo jccerberus 1 0 Framed kaleidoscope-tattoos 0 0 October 7- Back Stab KitKatKittyKatKitten 0 0 My kids in wolf form B-RYZ 0 0 Anchor idea Blue-Simplicity 1 0 Chinese Dragon reepal 0 0 Inktober: Dragon yanadhyana 7 2 Okami - WIP kaleidoscope-tattoos 0 0 Warrior Woman kaleidoscope-tattoos 0 0 Rabbit Food kaleidoscope-tattoos 0 0 Moonmaid kaleidoscope-tattoos 0 0 All In Her Eyes kaleidoscope-tattoos 0 0 Pork Bun Buns kaleidoscope-tattoos 0 0 October 6- Broken Bones KitKatKittyKatKitten 1 0 Home Sweet Home kaleidoscope-tattoos 1 0

Crosses have always been a very popular design to get for both males and females. They are most commonly known to represent people of a Christian faith, but can also just be for it’s aesthetic nature. They’re are also a lot of different variants of the cross and they all have different meanings and origins. Because of how simple a design they are they really can work anywhere on your body.
What types of designs will you find on this list of unique RIP tattoo ideas? Soldiers often immortalize their fallen brothers with memorial tattoos. Eagles and anchors are common images for a military memorial tattoo design. RIP tattoos depicting symbols like a ribbon wrapped around a cross, or including the dates of someone's life, are a beautiful way to remember someone you lost. Wings and a halo are also appropriate designs for RIP tattoos. Other good artwork featured on this roundup of the best RIP tattoo ideas include footprints and roses.
Artists and designers have come up with a great variety, as such tattoos are based absolutely on their creativity and capability. In fact, they present a great scope for them to explore their talent in tattoo designing as each design can be a completely different set of smaller designs. This means that there is a possibility for each and every sleeve design to be unique and different from the rest. Here are some common tattoo sleeves designs:
In terms of tattoos on actual bodies, the earliest known examples were for a long time Egyptian and were present on several female mummies dated to c. 2000 B.C. But following the more recent discovery of the Iceman from the area of the Italian-Austrian border in 1991 and his tattoo patterns, this date has been pushed back a further thousand years when he was carbon-dated at around 5,200 years old.
These sleeves are awesome. They are a bit tight and took some work getting them up my arm and I was pulling them back up most of the night. And I have skinny arms. One of the sleeves got a snag and now has a run in it. However, they look great and totally pulled the costume together. I got lots of comments and was compared to Howard from the big bang theory all night.
Having become more prominent than ever, there isn’t a part of the body that is off limits. The ink art has been done on most major and minor skin parts of the body. However, most men prefer having a sleeve tattoo as a man which can be quite impressive when a befitting design and a good color is used in its creation. Generally it appropriate and even advisable to opt for a sleeve tattoo for men as a man compared to having it done on other body parts. Outlined below are reasons why.
Richmond, Virginia has been cited as one of the most tattooed cities in the United States.[60] That distinction led the Valentine Richmond History Center to create an online exhibit titled "History, Ink: The Tattoo Archive Project." The introduction to the exhibit notes, "In the past, western culture associated tattoos with those individuals who lived on the edge of society; however, today they are recognized as a legitimate art form and widely accepted in mainstream culture."
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