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.
Ancient tattooing was most widely practiced among the Austronesian people. It was one of the early technologies developed by the Proto-Austronesians in Taiwan and coastal South China prior to at least 1500 BCE, before the Austronesian expansion into the islands of the Indo-Pacific. It may have originally been associated with headhunting. Tattooing traditions, including facial tattooing, can be found among all Austronesian subgroups, including Taiwanese Aborigines, Islander Southeast Asians, Micronesians, Polynesians, and the Malagasy people. Austronesians used the characteristic hafted skin-puncturing technique, using a small mallet and a piercing implement made from Citrus thorns, fish bone, bone, and oyster shells.
Laser removal is an option, says Jared Jagdeo, a dermatologist at University of California, Davis. Tuned to a wavelength specific to a tattoo's colors, "lasers are able to break apart tattoo particles," he says. The bursts of energy bust ink "from larger boulders into smaller rocks, and then into fine pebbles which then can be swept away by the lymphatic system."
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.
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.
"The appearance of tattoos aging depends on [...] your artists' skill," Villani says. "Tattoos lay in the dermis of the skin, which is only one millimeter thick. Ensuring the needle hits this one-millimeter layer is requires precision. If your artist goes too deep, then the ink will blowout, and what originally looks like clean lines, over time (not a very long time) will look sloppier." To make sure your tattoo quality is what you want, make sure you do a good amount of research beforehand.
Another type of the arm tattoo sleeves is the quarter sleeved type. It is in the shoulders midsection where a quarter sleeved tattoo starts, and it ends in the elbow’s part. Well actually, there are no rules that govern it, so it all depends on the wearer of the tattoo, as long as it can still be called as the quarter sleeved tattoo. What is just needed to be done is you should talk to your tattoo artist, and explain how you want your sleeve design should appear like.
The Japanese word irezumi means "insertion of ink" and can mean tattoos using tebori, the traditional Japanese hand method, a Western-style machine or any method of tattooing using insertion of ink. The most common word used for traditional Japanese tattoo designs is horimono. Japanese may use the word tattoo to mean non-Japanese styles of tattooing.