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.

It is possible that an implement best described as a sharp point set in a wooden handle, dated to c. 3000 B.C. and discovered by archaeologist W.M.F. Petrie at the site of Abydos may have been used to create tattoos. Petrie also found the aforementioned set of small bronze instruments c. 1450 B.C.—resembling wide, flattened needles—at the ancient town site of Gurob. If tied together in a bunch, they would provide repeated patterns of multiple dots.


Leave the colors to the artist. Hamlet suggests not bringing in a fully rendered drawing of the image and colors you want. The more I interview tattoo artists, the more I am coming to understand that getting a tattoo is like commissioning an artist to paint a mural. You do own the building, but you don't hand the artist a photo of another artist's mural and tell them to replicate it for you. Instead, you say your building works for peace and you want a mural that conveys that message and that you especially love lily of the valley flowers and the image of the rising sun. Then you let the artist do what they do: Create some art!
Tattoo sleeves often look their best colorful. Whether you opt for traditional old school tattoos, mermaid or pin-updesigns, or an armful of colorful flowers , adding vibrant details to your tattoo sleeves can really really make them pop. When you select your designs, analyze the colors as well. There's nothing worse than despising orange on your skin only to sport a huge Tiger Lily later. Often overlooked, this step is important so pay attention. Your artist isn't going to analyze or know these things about you so think about them first and speak up.
"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.
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.
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.
The half sleeve is generally the preferred style of arm tattoo at the moment. Unlike having a full sleeve it allows you to cover up your tattoos with a t-shirt should you need to for work or any other occasion. It also means that you don’t have to tattoo your elbow which can be a difficult area to work with and often you are restricted to the types of styles that you can get inked there.
"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.
Half sleeves are usually just a pit stop on the road to getting a full sleeve. You miss the smell of the ink and vaseline and crave the feel of the needle creating a masterpiece on your skin. People often start with a half sleeve before they decide to complete it and finish the entire thing. They are sometimes viewed as incomplete until the rest of the arm is done. They are easier to cover and you don’t necessarily need a long sleeved shirt to cover them.
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."

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!


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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.
If you can't decide, there are some sure-fire spots for long-lasting tattoos. "[The longest-lasting tattoos are] on flatter, less abused areas of the body like the flat of the forearm, upper arms, shoulders, back and thighs," Toby Gehrlich, tattoo artist at Red Tree Tattoo, tells Bustle. "These areas can usually withstand the test of time." Get whatever you want wherever, but know these spots will likely age the best.
Established and up-and-coming artists post photos of their work, and users regularly tag their favorite artists after going under the needle. Instagram isn’t just limited to #ink photos though, with designers frequently posting art and tattoo designs. They also make it easy to save your favorite images into collections How to Privately Save and Collect Instagram Photos Like on Pinterest How to Privately Save and Collect Instagram Photos Like on Pinterest Instagram's latest update introduces the ability to keep saved photos organized with a feature that's remarkably similar to Pinterest. Read More , readily accessible from your profile page.
We have also examined tattoos on mummified remains of some of the ancient pre-Columbian cultures of Peru and Chile, which often replicate the same highly ornate images of stylized animals and a wide variety of symbols found in their textile and pottery designs. One stunning female figurine of the Naszca culture has what appears to be a huge tattoo right around her lower torso, stretching across her abdomen and extending down to her genitalia and, presumably, once again alluding to the regions associated with birth. Then on the mummified remains which have survived, the tattoos were noted on torsos, limbs, hands, the fingers and thumbs, and sometimes facial tattooing was practiced.
Tattoo sleeves often look their best colorful. Whether you opt for traditional old school tattoos, mermaid or pin-updesigns, or an armful of colorful flowers , adding vibrant details to your tattoo sleeves can really really make them pop. When you select your designs, analyze the colors as well. There's nothing worse than despising orange on your skin only to sport a huge Tiger Lily later. Often overlooked, this step is important so pay attention. Your artist isn't going to analyze or know these things about you so think about them first and speak up.

Florida may not have the best reputation of the 50 United States, with weekly ridiculous news stories about Florida man and his Bath-Salts-snorting-public-nudity-drunken-brawling-alligator-fighting-ways, but there's no doubt that if you come from Florida, there's a piece of it that will always be home. Whether it's the gorgeous weather, the friendly people, the exotic animals, or the fact that HELLO, Disneyworld and Universal Studios are there, there is a ton to appreciate about Florida that sometimes goes unnoticed.  
So, if you are feeling like you’re ready for a tattoo, but just aren’t quite sure of what, relax! We’ve got your back and plenty of ideas about where you might find personal inspiration. And what’s more, we’re here to help – from tattoo idea conception to flawless delivery by one of the best artists in the nation, all courtesy of your friendly, neighborhood Orlando tattoo shop!
The symbolism of the butterfly is as diverse as the species itself. Often associated with the soul, the butterfly may represent the spiritual realm. It is also a strong symbol of transformation because the butterfly transforms from a caterpillar into a butterfly, becoming something new and beautiful. This can be a powerful tattoo for those who have endured hardship of any kind and have found a new, better life...

Card symbols have long been popular symbols to get inked. The ace of spades is usually the most popular one to get but not far behind are the Queens. The queen of clubs symbolises a strong willed and positive person. Tattoos in between the fingers usually need to get redone every few years as they do fade due to the amount of rubbing that occurs there.

Leave the colors to the artist. Hamlet suggests not bringing in a fully rendered drawing of the image and colors you want. The more I interview tattoo artists, the more I am coming to understand that getting a tattoo is like commissioning an artist to paint a mural. You do own the building, but you don't hand the artist a photo of another artist's mural and tell them to replicate it for you. Instead, you say your building works for peace and you want a mural that conveys that message and that you especially love lily of the valley flowers and the image of the rising sun. Then you let the artist do what they do: Create some art!

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.
Getting a tattoo hurts, but the level of pain can vary. It can feel like scratching, burning, stinging, or tingling. Some people feel sharp pains while others may describe the feeling as dull. The amount of pain you feel will depend on your pain threshold and other factors, including where on your body you're getting the tattoo, the size and number of needles being used, and the artist's style (some are quick and some work more slowly, some are more gentle than others).
Tattoos are also placed on animals, though rarely for decorative reasons. Pets, show animals, thoroughbred horses, and livestock are sometimes tattooed with identification and other marks. Tattooing with a 'slap mark' on the shoulder or on the ear is the standard identification method in commercial pig farming. Branding is used for similar reasons and is often performed without anesthesia, but is different from tattooing as no ink or dye is inserted during the process, the mark instead being caused by permanent scarring of the skin.[24] Pet dogs and cats are sometimes tattooed with a serial number (usually in the ear, or on the inner thigh) via which their owners can be identified. However, the use of a microchip has become an increasingly popular choice and since 2016 is a legal requirement for all 8.5 million pet dogs in the UK.[25]
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