How To Plan A Sleeve

“Bro, how much for a sleeve?”, “Well, I’m thinkin I wanna get a whole sleeve, ya know?” These and similar questions can be the bane of an artist’s existence. So let me lay some knowledge on you about how to strategically plan a tattoo sleeve. So that you may better understand the commitment, time, and money it is going to take to accomplish. Because if you actually sit and think about it, it can be overwhelming to comprehend. And let’s be honest, most people really don’t know what they want to begin with.

Full Sleeve Or Half Sleeve?

There are two obvious points here.

  1. A half sleeve runs either shoulder to elbow, or elbow to wrist.
  2. A half sleeve is going to be significantly cheaper than a full sleeve.

What you really need to consider is your budget both time and money, and what your lifestyle will allow. Becuase yes, even now there are employers and family members who will judge you based on your tattoos and whether or not they show. Fucking stupid, I know.

Cohesive Sleeves

A cohesive sleeve is where you have one concept and the entire piece seems to run together as one big tattoo. There is still a lot of planning and design to do, and you are not going to get it all in one day. But it is much different than your other option which is an eclectic sleeve.

Eclectic Sleeves

These sleeve tattoos consist of many different elements that kind of just go where they fit. Now, each piece should be carefully designed and selected for each part of your arm, but it is still going to leave negative space. Negative space are those parts of your arm where there are no tattoos. You can either fill this space with a background design, black it out, or just leave it blank. It is really just up to personal taste. These are nifty looking sleeves and give the aesthetic that you have more tattoos than someone with a cohesive sleeve.

Pick Your Artist

Most people don’t know this, but each artist has different strengths and weaknesses. Not every artist is going to specialize in Japanese, or realism, or new school, or traditional, etc. If you have a particular style of tattoo you like, find an artist that is great in that style. I know you’ve all watched way too many seasons of Ink Master and think everyone can do everything, but that is just not the real world of tattooing.

Schedule A Consultation

Holy hell I can not stress this point enough. DO NOT walk into a tattoo shop and ask how much it is for a sleeve. I will slap the ink right out of you. Violence aside, it really is best to sit down and decide where you want to start. Do you want to start with som smaller designs at your shoulder and work your way down? Are you going full sleeve or want to leave room to if you decide to do more later? Is this going to be one cohesive tattoo or many different ones? What is your budget for this?

These are all important things to consider when you plan a tattoo sleeve. And we would love to discuss them all with you. So drop us a message or come by the shop and lets get to planning!

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