Don’t expect to get a huge tattoo, or series of them, in just one sitting. They just take too long. Gualteros has some clients who fly in from overseas, and who then spend a few solid days getting big-scale tattoos completed. But that’s a special case. “Usually it’ll happen over more time,” he says. “It could take months, it could take years. Usually, you leave 3-4 weeks between appointments and a sleeve can require anywhere from 8-10 sessions.”

Remember how we said society is more accepting of sleeve tattoos now? While it is true, that doesn’t mean everyone is fine with them. For example, the United States Marines Corp. changed their policy in April 2007 to ban tattoo sleeves unless you got them before enlisting. There are also still plenty of employers who have a “no visible tattoo” policy but require a short-sleeve shirt uniform, which means you’re out of luck.


Getting a sleeve tattoo is a big investment in terms of both cost and hours spent a chair. For this reason a lot of guys go in to add one or two small tattoos from time to time while tying it all together with a matching background. Another approach is to take on the entire sleeve at once, which means more cash upfront and longer hours at a time. If you have the money and both you and your artist have the time, go for it. Otherwise, have patience knowing that eventually your sleeve will be complete and looking awesome.
"The sun definitely takes some years off your tattoo, and if you are a frequent sunbather or cannot commit to putting sunscreen on your tattoos, you should probably stick to areas of your body that don't typically see the sun," Villani says. "[...] Beyond the initial couple weeks, the sun can still dramatically fade tattoos over time. It is so important to keep sunscreen on tattoos that are exposed to the sun." So, while your artist may give you a time period where sunscreen is most important, try to be as vigilant as possible forever, regardless.
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!
When you decide to go for a sleeve tattoo, there are many things you should consider. Do you want your entire arm covered in tattoos, or just half a quarter sleeve? Your tattoo artist can assist you in best deciding the placement and size of your sleeve tattoo. Certain people begin with a couple of randomly placed tattoos, and piece them together later with a bigger, more significant piece. If you’re only starting on the sleeve idea, then it’s a good thing to consider the final project, as well as the scale of your tattoo’s placement.
A lot of us have imagined ourselves with those same kinds of full-arm sleeves. For some, it could work well with our no-fucks-to-give persona. For others, it's an aesthetic decision, or an emotional one. If you’re serious about it though, then it’s worth knowing what planning is involved—from inception, to execution, to maintenance. So we spoke with Nicolas Gualteros, tattoo artist at Senaspace in NYC, to plot it all out.
Because of the variety and versatility, it gives to the designer as well as the bearer, it is a great piece of art for those who want to show off their individuality and originality to the whole world. The one and the only thing to bear in mind before having a sleeve tattoo etched is that it requires a great deal of commitment, as time, money and comfort, all are at stake. And another factor which you should base your decision is that you should be willing to carry such a tattoo with your forever because, once done, such a tattoo is hard to get rid of due to its size and prominence. The lasting nature of this tattoo can make it both, beneficial as well as disadvantaged for the bearer.

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.
"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]
Serious problems can happen if you try to do a tattoo yourself, have a friend do it for you, or have it done in any unclean environment. Skin infections caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi can happen if the skin is not cleaned properly, or the ink or needles are contaminated. Sharing needles, ink, or other equipment without sterilization increases your chance of getting HIV, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C.
I am 6'3 and 205 with larger arms. These fit me OK. They run about 2/3 of the way up my arm and the top can be hidden by a shirt sleeve. They are 92% nylon and 8% spandex. They have a bit of ruuberband around the upper arm piece to hold it in place. The material feels like a women's nylon sock and I would guess holds up well to being stretched but not to snags or sharp objects.
The FDA regularly issues warnings to consumers about avoiding any temporary tattoos labeled as black henna or pre-mixed henna as these may contain potentially harmful ingredients including silver nitrate, carmine, pyrogallol, disperse orange dye and chromium. Black henna gets its color from paraphenylenediamine (PPD), a textile dye approved by the FDA for human use only in hair coloring.[94] In Canada, the use of PPD on the skin, including hair dye, is banned. Research has linked these and other ingredients to a range of health problems including allergic reactions, chronic inflammatory reactions, and late-onset allergic reactions to related clothing and hairdressing dyes. They can cause these reactions long after application. Neither black henna nor pre-mixed henna are approved for cosmetic use by the FDA.
Tattoo sleeves are badass and totally eye-catching -- no one can deny that. Turning an entire arm or leg into a work of art requires some serious commitment and love for ink. In fact, we'd go so far as to argue that our arms or legs are the perfect canvas to be transformed into a piece of art. Our limbs are incredibly easy to hide, but also super easy to show off, arguably making tattoo sleeves the best spot to get inked. 
Geometric tattoos are probably one of the most trending designs from the last couple of years. They look great, are timeless and not too expensive. Above is an example of a silver and black one on the forearm, which is a very popular spot for people to get tattoos now that they’re more socially acceptable and not necessarily restricted to areas that you need to cover up anymore.
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.
As most tattoos in the U.S. were done by Polynesian and Japanese amateurs, tattoo artists were in great demand in port cities all over the world, especially by European and American sailors. The first recorded professional tattoo artist in the United States was a German immigrant, Martin Hildebrandt. He opened a shop in New York City in 1846 and quickly became popular during the American Civil War among soldiers and sailors of both Union and Confederate militaries.
Geometric tattoos are probably one of the most trending designs from the last couple of years. They look great, are timeless and not too expensive. Above is an example of a silver and black one on the forearm, which is a very popular spot for people to get tattoos now that they’re more socially acceptable and not necessarily restricted to areas that you need to cover up anymore.
If you want to get a sleeve tattoo, you first need to find out how much an average tattoo costs. It’s important to know certain factors that can make tattoo costs increase or decrease. There are a couple of factors that should guide you in figuring out the costs associated with the decisions that you make in getting a tattoo, and assistance in balancing your finances in due time.
Because it requires breaking the skin barrier, tattooing carries health risks including infection and allergic reactions. Tattooing can be uncomfortable to excruciating depending on the area and can result in the person fainting. Modern tattooists reduce risks by following universal precautions working with single-use items and sterilizing their equipment after each use. Many jurisdictions require that tattooists have blood-borne pathogen training such as that provided through the Red Cross and OSHA. As of 2009 (in the United States) there have been no reported cases of HIV contracted from tattoos.[85]
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 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.
A growing trend in the US and UK is to place artistic titoos over the surgical scars of a mastectomy. "More women are choosing not to reconstruct after a mastectomy and tattoo over the scar tissue instead.... The mastectomy tattoo will become just another option for post cancer patients and a truly personal way of regaining control over post cancer bodies and proving once and for all that breast cancer is not just a pink ribbon."[27] The tattooing of nipples on reconstructed breasts remains in high demand, however.[28]
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