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.
From a contrail heartbeat to exact coordinates of a place that touched your soul forever, these designs were created for hardcore backpack fans, and they will definitely inspire you to pack your bags. Scroll down to check out the awe-inkspiring pictures below and if you don't want to limit yourself to land and sea, we've gathered an awesome cosmic tattoo list too!
Many studies have been done of the tattooed population and society's view of tattoos. In June 2006, the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology published the results of a telephone survey of 2004. It found that 36% of Americans ages 18–29, 24% of those 30–40, and 15% of those 41–51 had a tattoo.[58] In September 2006, the Pew Research Center conducted a telephone survey that found that 36% of Americans ages 18–25, 40% of those 26–40 and 10% of those 41–64 had a tattoo. They concluded that Generation X and Generation Y express themselves through their appearance, and tattoos are the most popular form of self-expression.[59] In January 2008, a survey conducted online by Harris Interactive estimated that 14% of all adults in the United States have a tattoo, slightly down from 2003, when 16% had a tattoo. Among age groups, 9% of those ages 18–24, 32% of those 25–29, 25% of those 30–39 and 12% of those 40–49 have tattoos, as do 8% of those 50–64. Men are slightly more likely to have a tattoo than women.
Sleeves aren’t very easily hidden so make sure to check the policies at work to ensure you can’t get in trouble for new body art. You may be able to hide the pieces pretty well at first but as time goes by and more of your skin is covered, you’ll definitely not be able to cover up the sleeve forever. More than anything, have fun and enjoy the process of creating this masterpiece that will be part of your body forever.
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].

Although it's called tattoo removal, completely removing a tattoo can be difficult depending on your skin type, how big and complex the design is, and the types and colors of inks that were used. It can take several treatments over months, and results are not guaranteed. Treatment can cause darkening or lightening of the skin, and scarring. It also can be expensive. It's best to consult with a dermatologist who specializes in tattoo removal to get your questions answered.
Tattooing is regulated in many countries because of the associated health risks to client and practitioner, specifically local infections and virus transmission. Disposable plastic aprons and eye protection can be worn depending on the risk of blood or other secretions splashing into the eyes or clothing of the tattooist. Hand hygiene, assessment of risks and appropriate disposal of all sharp objects and materials contaminated with blood are crucial areas. The tattoo artist must wash his or her hands and must also wash the area that will be tattooed. Gloves must be worn at all times and the wound must be wiped frequently with a wet disposable towel of some kind. All equipment must be sterilized in a certified autoclave before and after every use. It is good practice to provide clients with a printed consent form that outlines risks and complications as well as instructions for after care.[67]
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 color print is sharp, bright, and detailed. The arm bands come well packaged. On the arm they would likely fool someone from a distance and even up close a second glance would be needed to discern they are false. The wrist area doesn't blend that well and there is a seem up the inner arm, but overall for the price these are fun. I have a much more expensive version I got for running that is UV protected and a bit thicker for arm warmth. Gag wise though these cheap ones are just as good.
81. There’s a lot of variation in this piece which makes it appealing to the casual observer. There’s a keen sense of continuity in the art. The bird has such a vivid appearance that makes it real looking. The attention to it’s detail in every feather is done really well. The way that the branches swerve all around makes it appear less life like but very interesting. The artist brings an added zing with the red flower at the wrist and it’s interesting how the artist implemented the canvas’s skin as part of the backdrop.
Thanks for choosing this gallery of tattoo ideas! Although I do know a few girls who have chosen a tattoo designs based solely on its look, most people agree that meaning is just as important. They want a tattoo that would represent the values they hold onto, their moral code and believes. In the end, some people just want a tattoo that would reflect and represent their personality. If you belong to this latter category and believe in astrology, you should consider getting a design that stylishly depicts your zodiac sign. Welcome to our tattoo ideas website!
You’ll want your new ink to reflect your tastes, so do what you love, and keep an eye out for things that would look great on your skin. If you’re really into art, check out an exhibit or museum. If nature’s your deal, take a hike or go camping. If you follow your passion, sometimes the perfect tattoo idea will jump right out at you when you least expect it.
Modern Japanese tattoos are real works of art, with many modern practioners, while the highly skilled tattooists of Samoa continue to create their art as it was carried out in ancient times, prior to the invention of modern tattooing equipment. Various cultures throughout Africa also employ tattoos, including the fine dots on the faces of Berber women in Algeria, the elaborate facial tattoos of Wodabe men in Niger and the small crosses on the inner forearms which mark Egypt's Christian Copts.
Placement is one of the most important things to determine for the tattoo. The design can be unique, creative and really attractive, but if it is not scaled to the body, it won’t work out the way you want. The question is: ”Are you getting a tattoo for its design or just to fill the empty spot on your body?”. The most important thing to remember is that a tattoo should complement your body, be a part of it, and look natural.
A blacked out sleeve tattoo is done by an artist to either cover up an unwanted previous design, or throw in a bold statement to this prominent area of a person’s body. The entire arm is tattooed in black, or white can be added to make a delicate design as a part of the tattoo’s look. If it’s not covered up, a negative space can be left to create a rather unique design. Blackout sleeves won’t happen overnight. Plenty of sittings are involved in this painstakingly slow process, as well as the obvious pain that comes before and during healing. Getting a blacked out sleeve tattoo isn’t a quick fix, but rather, a tattoo decision that requires 100% of the artist and the client’s commitment.
Of course, you can always go for tattoo designs based on badass comic book characters. But make sure the design isn’t too cartoony, which defeats the purpose of a badass tattoo. This means the design includes more realism and has darker shades of colors instead of vibrant ones. There are far too many badass comic book characters to choose from. If you want a safe bet, there’s always Wolverine, arguably the most badass character ever.

Another great place for ideas – especially if you’re already in love with one of our artists’ styles – is to look through their tattoo portfolios. Our team has done some really amazing work over the years, and their books alone are inspiring! They’re the best for a reason! Not only can our team design for you an amazing, personalized tattoo, they love working with clients that come in with a clear concept and then let them run with the idea, designing something 100% unique!


If you know you eventually want a sleeve, or if you’re going full-sleeve right out the gate, then Gualteros recommends starting at the shoulder. From there, you’ll work your way down the arm. “If someone came to me and let me do whatever I wanted, I’d start from the top with something that fits the body,” he says. “Something that doesn’t look like a sticker on the arm, then bring it down and fill it in.” Alternatively, he notes that some of his customers and fellow artists prefer to start at the wrist and work their way up, but on the same principle: By starting on one end, you aren’t guessing where to place everything else. Instead, you’re moving up or down the sleeve and filling it in with some kind of order.
Tattoos are strongly empirically associated with deviance, personality disorders and criminality.[73][74] Although the general acceptance of tattoos is on the rise in Western society, they still carry a heavy stigma among certain social groups.[citation needed] Tattoos are generally considered an important part of the culture of the Russian mafia.[75]
Tattoos used to be the preserve of criminals and toffs. And sailors. In the 1850s, the corpses of seamen washed up on the coast of north Cornwall were “strangely decorated” with blue, according to Robert Hawker, the vicar of Morwenstow – initials, or drawings of anchors, flowers or religious symbols (“Our blessed Saviour on His Cross, with on the one hand His mother, and on the other St John the Evangelist”). “It is their object and intent, when they assume these signs,” says Hawker, “to secure identity for their bodies if their lives are lost at sea.”
Tattooing involves the placement of pigment into the skin's dermis, the layer of dermal tissue underlying the epidermis. After initial injection, pigment is dispersed throughout a homogenized damaged layer down through the epidermis and upper dermis, in both of which the presence of foreign material activates the immune system's phagocytes to engulf the pigment particles. As healing proceeds, the damaged epidermis flakes away (eliminating surface pigment) while deeper in the skin granulation tissue forms, which is later converted to connective tissue by collagen growth. This mends the upper dermis, where pigment remains trapped within successive generations of macrophages, ultimately concentrating in a layer just below the dermis/epidermis boundary. Its presence there is stable, but in the long term (decades) the pigment tends to migrate deeper into the dermis, accounting for the degraded detail of old tattoos.[66]
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.
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.'" [62] 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."[63]
Despite all our advances in technology, the basic needling technique used to insert pigment into skin hasn’t changed all that much over time. The biggest change came when the electric tattooing machine was first patented in 1891. That technology has remained relatively stagnant since–aside from prisoners’ ad hoc redesigns, in which a cassette recorder, an electric razor, or electric toothbrush can be used as a motor. These jailed tattooists’ inventions show just what desperate lengths people will go to to turn a boring patch of bare skin into something that better expresses the self underneath.
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.

Not dates the fruit and certainly not your last Tinder date, but a date that has special meaning to you. A day out of the year that makes you reflect on things past, current, and future, like the birthdate of a friend who's passed away or sister tattoos of the date you both got inked together. Regardless, this idea can be done large or small and will remain relevant for your whole life.


When you opt for a sleeve tattoo, you have several considerations. Do you want your whole arm covered in tattoos, or just half or a quarter sleeve? Your tattoo artistcan help you best decide on the scale and placement of your sleeve tattoo. Some people start with just a few random placed tattoos and bridge them together later with a more significant piece. If you're just starting your sleeve idea, it's the right time to consider the final project and scale.
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.

Custom Tattoo Design (CTD) go out of their way to make sure you are happy with the end result. Before you receive the final design, the artist sends you a rough sketch to approve. If you aren’t satisfied with their design, CTD will give you a full refund of your deposit. The final design comes with a certificate of authenticity releasing the copyright from the artist so you can get your custom tattoo inked.
When you opt for a sleeve tattoo, you have several considerations. Do you want your whole arm covered in tattoos, or just half or a quarter sleeve? Your tattoo artistcan help you best decide on the scale and placement of your sleeve tattoo. Some people start with just a few random placed tattoos and bridge them together later with a more significant piece. If you're just starting your sleeve idea, it's the right time to consider the final project and scale.
Many people in the world who are into tattoos are now trying the gorgeousness of sleeve tattoos. Before, these tattoos can be commonly seen engraved on the body parts of men. But today, the number of women who are getting tattooed on their sleeves is increasing in number. This is why these tattoos are very popular. In fact, its great popularity has arrived at the portals of many big-time clothing companies that manufacture clothing items that appear like tattooed sleeves. With that being said, there is no question why these tattoos are also famously called tattoo sleeves.
The design seems to be inspirational for the lovers of former WWE star ‘The Rock’. He is the one who has got the amazing tribal tattoo design inked on his arm in the showbiz industry. Though the design is quite complicated, but the watercolor ink pattern makes it look so graceful that it’s become impossible to live without trying it once in your lifetime. It’s the popular design among men. To make your sleeve tattoo design a big hit among tattoo lovers, you have to work hard on your arms and shoulders.
Although it’s hard to read in the photo, the wider shot shows you how script can work really well to join different tattoos. It sits below a cross themed tattoo, so is potentially a passage out of the bible that inspires or holds a dear meaning to the person. Script can work great on the leg and backs and also wraps around nicely. When opting for a script tattoo be sure to get someone that’s experience in doing nice lettering.
Getting a tattoo sleeve is big commitment and we’re here to help you. We have dedicated senior tattoo artists whose job is to only work on custom tattoo sleeves. These designs can take 50+ hours to design; we don’t just jumble a bunch of images together but compose each idea and image into a collective masterpiece. The composition and creative design is what makes world class tattoo sleeves; the application takes roughly one tenth of the time as the design. Getting your tattoo sleeve designed prior to getting it inked should be your top priority. We are currently the only tattoo design company in the world who designs custom tattoo sleeves from scratch. If you want to make sure your tattoo sleeve is 100% perfect before a needle touches your body, then you’re at the right place. Start by sending us your story, idea or theme for your tattoo sleeve and we will get back to you to as soon as we can.
When it comes down to it, tattoos are a little bit like real estate. The location really matters. "'High Friction Zones' tend to fade super fast," tattooist Adam Villani, tells Bustle. "Think hands, feet, and other areas that come into a lot of contact with friction [...] it really depends on your lifestyle." So think about what sports you do and clothes you wear before you get the tattoo done.
However, not everyone digs deep when it comes to the reasons behind tattoos. There are men who simply get tattooed because they think it looks good on them. Men who think of tattoos this way often go for the most badass tattoo designs around instead of meaningful ones. Because if they want to look good with tattoos, they might as well go big and choose the most masculine and the most impressive.
Tattoo sleeves basically refer to those tattoo designs that are usually large in size or cover a huge part of your arm or leg when put together. This type of tattoos starts from the shoulder of a person and continues till the down part of the arm displaying a particular theme.Tattoo sleeve ideas and designs are widely used by both man and women in 2016 and becoming quite popular due to the incredible designs they offer. This is the main reason when you look for a sleeve tattoo design meeting your interests you get confused.Before choosing your design, don’t ignore the fact that sleeve tattoos are large enough and eye-catchy, so they easily grab more attention than any other tattoo design.
Some people know the subject matter that they’d like to have done, but haven’t figured out what they want it to look like. Use the internet to search for ideas, taking full advantage of great inspiration sites like Google Image or Pinterest to see art others have had done. If you find something you like, but want your own take on it, print it out and save it for your appointment with one of our tattoo artists; they can take a look at your pulled images and design a tattoo that is absolutely unique to you!
What you will find here are tattoo ideas for men like you. Not for your mother, your sister or your significant other, but for you. Yes, you can walk into many tattoo shops and find an artist that will happily guide you towards pre-drawn designs, or flash, and tattoo your choice on any part of your body. Don’t you want something more unique? When you take the time to choose the right tat, you aren’t filled with regret down the road. You aren’t paying for expensive cover-up designs. And you aren’t wasting your money on tinted creams that don’t hide freckles much less your body art.

From a contrail heartbeat to exact coordinates of a place that touched your soul forever, these designs were created for hardcore backpack fans, and they will definitely inspire you to pack your bags. Scroll down to check out the awe-inkspiring pictures below and if you don't want to limit yourself to land and sea, we've gathered an awesome cosmic tattoo list too!


If you talk to a tattoo artist about it, they'll likely be able to advise you on what will and won't look good, based on experience. Unfortunately, some of the trendiest tattoos are the most difficult to keep up over time. "There are two main reasons some tattoos age better than others: the size of the tattoo and long-term sun damage," Jordanne Le Fae, of Jordanne Le Tattoos, tells Bustle. But other little variables, like line-thickness and tattoo color, also end up making a difference.
Many tattoos serve as rites of passage, marks of status and rank, symbols of religious and spiritual devotion, decorations for bravery, sexual lures and marks of fertility, pledges of love, amulets and talismans, protection, and as punishment, like the marks of outcasts, slaves and convicts. The symbolism and impact of tattoos varies in different places and cultures. Tattoos may show how a person feels about a relative (commonly mother/father or daughter/son) or about an unrelated person.[13] Today, people choose to be tattooed for artistic, cosmetic, sentimental/memorial, religious, and magical reasons, and to symbolize their belonging to or identification with particular groups, including criminal gangs (see criminal tattoos) or a particular ethnic group or law-abiding subculture. Popular verses include John 3:16, Philippians 4:13, and Psalms 23.[14]
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