The Strategy of How to Time and Plan a Tattoo Sleeve
From the design, budget, and number of sessions it will take, you need to first strategize how to plan a tattoo sleeve before embarking on this design journey.
Are you planning your next big tattoo project? Getting a sleeve is no joke and it’s a big commitment. It requires a lot of planning, money, and time. Do you know how to plan a tattoo sleeve?
Planning a big tattoo takes some forethought. It’s not like grabbing a quick flash piece on Friday the 13th or adding a new piece to your thigh. It’s an entire project and you need to decide how you want it to look. You only have so much space.
Does this sound overwhelming to you? We get it. We’re here to offer some advice so you can get your new sleeve started. Keep reading to learn all about strategizing and planning a tattoo sleeve that you’re going to be proud to show off.
Decide: Full Sleeve or Half Sleeve?
The first step for planning your tattoo sleeve is figuring out whether you want a full sleeve (one that runs all the way from your wrist to your shoulder) or a half sleeve (which runs from either your wrist to your elbow or your elbow to your shoulder.
Planning a half sleeve tattoo is often more complicated than the full sleeve because you only have so much room and it tends to be more important that everything looks cohesive. We’ll talk about cohesion later on.
Half sleeves will be more affordable and they’ll take less time than full sleeves. Full sleeves have a more jarring visual effect (which some people want). Artists will be happy to work with you when you’re trying to decide and they can make suggestions based on your preexisting tattoos and on what will work best with your body.
Eclectic, Cohesive, or a Mix? You Choose
Sleeves come in two primary varieties: eclectic and cohesive.
Eclectic sleeves tend to have a basic idea in mind and they’re patchworked together over time. These sleeves require less planning but just as much attention to detail as their cohesive counterparts.
Eclective sleeves can still have cohesion. You might work with one artist throughout the process, or choose one color, style, or theme as a throughline. For example, many people have sleeves full of American traditional tattoos that don’t “go together” per se, but they still look like they were done with intention because they match.
Other people choose blackwork for their sleeves, or an arm full of florals. While these things aren’t all part of one piece in a traditional way, they still make up a whole.
Cohesive sleeves are based on one project. You come in with something in mind and the tattoo artist will come up with a single piece that covers your entire (or half) arm. While this takes more planning in the design stages, you don’t have the task of filling in all kinds of small leftover spaces from an eclectic sleeve.
Blackout sleeves are trendy right now, which is a full sleeve of black ink or black ink with white or skin-colored designs, like a reversal of the traditional tattoo sleeve.
Pick a Style and Artist
There are all kinds of tattoo styles to choose from. Because a tattoo sleeve is such a huge commitment, it’s important that you pick a style that you love. You’ll be seeing a lot of it.
American traditional and Japanese traditional are two popular styles for tattoo sleeves because they include bold lines and shading so you know that the sleeve will have longevity. Some people like sleeves full of tribal-style tattoos, or sacred geometry designs.
If you’re doing a completely cohesive piece, you’ll have one style for the entirety of the arm. You want to choose an artist that’s adept with that style, not just your favorite local artist who’s done other styles of work that you like.
Visit local shops for portfolio books and check out the Instagram accounts and galleries of local artists to see portfolios. These portfolios will help you decide who the right person for the job is.
Talk With Your Artist
Once you’ve chosen your artist, it’s time to have a consultation. Tattoo consultations are often free (though you will make a deposit that goes into the final cost of your tattoo. That deposit covers the time and effort your artist will put into the art in case you choose to not get the tattoo).
While you may come in with ideas, don’t come in with a sleeve that you want an exact copy of. Instead, come in with concepts and other drawings that have a similar feeling to what you have in mind.
An artist’s job is to make art, not copy. Your tattoo artist will make a design that suits your needs and works best with your form. Many will make small alterations on the day of. They know that a sleeve is a commitment.
Some artists will give you the option of scheduling a sleeve for one day. If this happens to be your first tattoo, don’t choose this option. Even if you’re a tattoo veteran it might be too much for you.
It’s wise to schedule blocks in several-hour increments depending on your pain tolerance.
Talk to your artist about how they prefer to schedule large projects like this and make sure to discuss the cost. Because most artists charge by the hour, they may want you to pay as you go or they may want a larger upfront sum.
If you aren’t doing it all in one go, it’s best to give yourself time to heal between sessions (especially if you’re doing lines and color or shading on separate days).
Now That You Know How to Plan a Tattoo Sleeve, Get Started!
Knowing how to plan a tattoo sleeve is the first part of the battle. The actual planning? Much more difficult.
Find a great artist who can help you bring your tattoo sleeve ideas to life. We know planning a big tattoo is hard and we want to make sure that you get something that you love.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and get started.
The Best Spot For a First Tattoo
Don’t regret where you get your first tattoo on your body. Here is the very best spot for a first tattoo and why it matters!
Do you’re thinking of going out and getting your first tattoo!
Did you know that 27% of women have their tattoos placed on their ankles, while 34% of men choose to have it done on their upper back shoulder?
As the saying goes, the body is a canvas, but how do you make the decision of where to put permanent artwork? There are so many factors that you should consider when picking the best sport for a first tattoo.
Keep reading to find out all about tattoo placement, and ultimately, make the right decision for you.
The Best Spot for a First Tattoo
When asking the question, “What is the best spot for a first tattoo?”, we would first like to say, there’s no direct answer to this question.
Before you head into a shop though, ensure that you understand tattoo shop etiquette and the exact behavior that is required from you.
Many different people, from many different walks of life, choose to get a tattoo for a variety of choices. Things like other people being able to see your tattoo, the industry that you work in, your family’s culture, could all play a part in where you choose to put your first tattoo.
But let’s dive straight into the areas of the body that we believe are the best spots for a first tattoo.
1. The Upper Collarbone
Tattoos generally, over time, will fade in direct exposure to sunlight. If you’re leaning towards getting your first tattoo on your chest, then the upper collar bone is a great choice.
It’s rated one of the least painful places to get a tattoo, and also, the skin in this area doesn’t stretch as much as the rest of the chest over time, so your tattoo should remain fairly constant.
2. Your Back
If you’re worried about your tattoo changing shape over time, then the back is a great location for your first tattoo.
The skin here stays pretty constant if you experience weight gain, pregnancy, or other body changes.
The upper part of your back offers a solid canvas if you’re looking for a place that you can easily cover your ink in your daily life too.
3. Your Wrist
Most female customers will choose the wrist as the location for the first tattoo. It’s the perfect placement for a tattoo that is delicate and dainty.
But be warned!
The wrist has a lot of nerve endings, making the tattoo itself more painful than in other more cushioned areas of the body. Also, you’ll find it harder to cover up this bad boy in warm weather.
Be mindful of your choice of colors too, with the wrist spending much time in the sunlight, you may find that your tattoo fades quicker than it would in other areas. Chat to your tattoo artist about what color choices he would recommend for a tattoo on your wrist.
4. The Back of the Neck
The back of the neck is a popular choice for women with long hair, that feel they’ll easily be able to hide the ink if the situation calls for it.
It’s the perfect place for a small, delicate design to make its first appearance.
The level of pain in this area is not too high, in comparison to your rib cage for example, but during your time in the chair, the sound of the machine can seem really loud, ‘tricking’ people into believing it’s more painful than it actually is.
5. On Your Chest
The chest is generally an area chosen by men more so than women, and given the proximity to the heart, it’s the perfect place for a tattoo that holds a lot of meaning for the person getting it.
It’s similar to the way a footballer’s badge would be displayed, their team’s crest is sacred to them, and so should the tattoo be to you.
Also, the chest is the perfect place for you to consider a heart tattoo design.
It also allows for larger designs to be chosen, as opposed to the smaller areas on your wrist and ankle.
Places to Avoid for Your First Tattoo
Generally speaking, the biggest concern for someone getting their first tattoo is the level of pain they expect.
Obviously, getting a tattoo isn’t like a unicorn licking rainbows on your skin, the process can be painful and lengthy, depending on the location and the length of time that you sit in the chair.
Also, one factor which is hard to measure is your own level of tolerance for pain. If you’re one to scream when getting a vaccination, then you may want to stick with the list above.
Here are some of the areas that you should avoid if you’re worried about pain:
- The rib cage is extremely sensitive
- Fingers have little cushioning between the skin and the bone, so are quite painful during the tattoo process
- Elbows also lack enough ‘meat’ to create a cushion, so you’ll feel the tattoo needles right down to the bone
- The ankle is not an ideal place for your first tattoo, with the skin sitting so close to the bone, as well as all the weird ways you have to keep bending your foot in order to get the perfect tattoo
Choosing an area for your first tattoo though, shouldn’t be made on the level of pain that you wish to avoid, but rather, on the perfect placement for the design you’ve chosen.
You’ll really want to chat to your tattoo artist about the designs that you have in mind, and where he thinks the tattoo will be showcased best.
Heading Out for Your First Tattoo
Now that you know the best spot for a first tattoo, you should take your time in finding the right artist to do the application for you.
Look out for professional studios that have the right sanitation and disinfection procedures in place, the last thing you want to end up with is an infection.
Also, never make your decision based on price, like the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Rather budget more for your first tattoo, and get exactly what you’re hoping for.
Contact us if you have more questions about the process, or would like to schedule that session for your first tattoo.
7 Blackwork Tattoo Styles To Inspire Your Next Tattoo
Have you been saving it? Counting your coins and filling your tattoo jar for this very moment? Whether you’re tattoo covered or preparing to get your first piece, it’s a fun and exciting occasion, and one that needs some good art to go with it.
Once you saved the money for a tattoo, you’ll be looking for the right design and the right artist. There are so many incredible tattoo artists in the world and great styles including blackwork tattoo styles.
If you’ve never gotten a tattoo before, if it’s been awhile, or if you’re looking to work with a new artist, it’s good to brush up on your tattoo etiquette. And if you’re considering blackwork, it’s good to know some of the styles more commonly seen so you know what you want.
7 Blackwork Tattoo Styles
blackwork tattoo styles
A blackwork style tattoo means it’s done with black ink only. This is a style derived from ancient tribal tattooing but has evolved greatly to incorporate all kinds of art styles today. Below you will find all kinds of blackwork tattoo ideas.
Tribal tattoos may be what you think of immediately upon hearing blackwork style tattoos. Tribal tattoos are some of the first tattoos to exist and come from a long line of traditions. They are often beautiful, solid pieces, but are by no means the only option when considering a blackwork style tattoo.
Geometric style tattoos are very popular for blackwork, and allow artists to be creative and innovative with designs. You may want to go to an artist who does a lot of geometric designs and allow them to create something with little guidance.
Geometric tattoos can be complicated tessellations or simple designs built from various shapes. They can be smaller pieces, but also look great as a full sleeve or back design. Either way, they are a great choice for a tattoo in the blackwork style.
Ornamental designs are similar to geometric designs, but rounder, ornate, and similar to henna styles. You may want a more mandala-type design, which would fit into the ornamental style. This can translate well to larger designs, but also works well on the small scale.
Blackout tattoos are exactly what they sound like. They fit perfectly within the blackwork style tattoo category and consist of large blocks of completely filled in black. These tattoos can be very striking and are often seen on arms and legs.
Blackout tattoos, like most all blackwork style tattoos, will age well if you take care of them. They don’t rely on thinner, more ornate designs, and may not require shading depending on what you want.
5. Dark Art
The dark art style often takes inspiration from etchings. It can feature alchemy imagery, taking influence from tarot cards and other sources. Dark art can be beautiful and as ornate as you want. The artist may also approach designs in unique ways, using dot work or dark lines depending on the piece.
6. Graphic Art
Graphic art works especially well as a blackwork tattoo style. Think of all the visual prints done in black and white. Many artists take inspiration from manga and comic work, creating unique graphic art tattoos in all black. These tattoos may depict scenes or characters, and verge on looking exactly like illustrations.
When using only black ink, the artist will need great skills to work on the linework needed for certain pieces. However, if you know the work you want and are working with the right artist for that piece, you’re sure to get a great tattoo from the process.
Lettering, calligraphy, and graphite inspired tattoos do not always fit into the blackwork tattoo styles. Often lettering or script tattoos will use greys and white to add contrast and create shading and shadows. But blackwork style can certainly work with lettering designs.
Often having solid black lettering can create beautiful and bold lettering. And many of these styles, including lettering, can be combined in various ways within the blackwork style. You can have a tattoo that incorporates graphic and blackout components to create an individual tattoo for you.
You don’t have to have a full tattoo design ready before walking into a shop or contacting an artist. If you find someone whose work you admire, that might be all you need and you can then ask for their available designs. Most tattoo artists are happy to work with you to help create a design you will be truly happy with for the rest of your life.
For many of these styles, it is good to find artists who usually do these types of designs. That way they are more likely to want to work with you on your specific tattoo, or will have some good flash options already available for you to choose from. Remember, getting a tattoo isn’t a solo experience but one between both the artist and the client.
Go Get Inked
You can usually find artists who specify that they do blackwork. Whether you’re looking for a new striking piece, or want to cover-up a previous work, blackwork is a great option for your next tattoo. Blackwork tattoo styles can vary greatly but include a lot of choices to suit what you want.
Once you’ve decided on a general design idea or picked the perfect artist for you, you’re ready to make that appointment and get your next work of art. If you found this article helpful in giving you the blackwork tattoo inspiration you needed, check us out for more good design styles, tips, and tattooing news! Stop by our Maui Tattoo shop or our Henderson location.
Retro Tattoo Styles
7 Retro Tattoo Styles That Still Rock
Are you planning to get a tattoo for the first time? Or do you already have a couple and wish to add another one that will never go out of style? Then one of the best options to consider is the retro or old-school tattoo styles.
The love affair between Americans and tattoos go a long way. And today, more Americans are getting tattoos compared to almost a decade ago.
Not to mention, there are more tattoo choices today than ever before. But why should you consider going retro on tattoos? What are the classic styles that will still make you stand out in this modern age?
Continue reading below for seven retro tattoo styles deserving of a spot on your skin.
1. The Classic Americana
First on our list of timeless old-school tattoo styles is the Classic Americana. You can easily spot this traditional style tattoos through some key elements. It features solid colors, iconic imagery, and bold black lines.
Classic Americana tattoos trace its roots from way back to the 18th century. But it first became popular in the mainstream tattoo scene in the 1930s. It was tattoo artist Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins who popularized the style.
Back then, Classic Americana tattoos often depicted animals, roses, pin-ups, skulls, and nautical themes. You can even see people sporting this tattoo style with a standard heart tattoo.
2. The Japanese Style
Another old-school option is the Japanese tattoo style or Irezumi. It features remarkable artistry and deep and dark history. Irezumi traces its origins from the Jomon Period (10,000 BCE-300 CE).
However, modern Japanese style tattoos rose to prominence between the years 1603 and 1868. This was during the Edo Period where Japan deemed tattooing as illegal. Hence, the Japanese often associated tattooing to crime, as well as filial piety.
Furthermore, the older Japanese people shunned on tattooing for another reason. They claimed that tattoos somewhat disrespected the body. In turn, they viewed tattooing as a way of breaking the codes of obedience and respect.
As for the designs, Japanese tattoos feature very large images. These images are big enough to cover the entire back. Other areas where artists place the tattoos include the arms and legs.
3. Stick and Poke
Stick and poke tattoos became one of the hottest tattoo styles back in the 1970s. The name originated from the manner of inking the tattoo on the skin. The tattoo artists do not use any machines to ink the skin.
Instead, they use a rod-like contraption where they attach a needle on the end. Thereafter, they dip the needle into the ink and apply it to the skin by hand. The ink settles deep into the skin as the artist pokes the needle dot by dot.
When it comes to the designs, they are far less intricate compared to other tattoo styles. Most of the recent designs feature bold lines with minor decorative patterns.
Check out our Maui Tattoo shop or our Las Vegas Tattoo shop
4. Black and Grey
Some people call black and gray tattoos as “jailhouse” tattoos. Legend has it that this particular style started inside the prison. In prison, inmates use inks and handmade machines for tattooing.
Artists had to improvise when it came to the materials. They used pen ink and cigarette ashes to make the tattoo ink. They converted old guitar strings into needles.
But on the outside, black and gray started to gain a following in the 1970s. Artists use different techniques in creating their designs.
However, the key lies in the shading variation. Good artists can combine deep and soft shadows and hues. To get more solid grey tones, they mix black ink with white ink.
This leveling in the shades is the secret to keeping your black and grey tattoos from fading.
If the black and grey style showcases a fusion of two colors, blackwork tattoo proudly boast solid planes of black. Most of the time, blackwork artists depict geometric shapes.
Sometimes, they present abstract patterns. But the common denominator is that they tend to use minimalist images and symbols. This is because of the tattoos Polynesian origins.
But in western culture, blackwork tattoos became fashionable in Europe during the 18th century. It was the laborers who often sported this particular tattoo style.
Today, you will be one of the coolest if you have one on the arms or at the back.
Though some people may consider abstract tattoos as relatively new, you can trace its roots toward the end of the 19th century. It was a time when artists were feeling the need to come up with a new form of art.
They want this new art to represent the changing landscape in science, technology, and philosophy. Hence, they started to move to the more creative use of shapes, colors, and expressions.
Today, abstract tattoos are a sight to behold. They showcase visual excellence, as well as conceptual beauty.
Last but not least are the tattoos that use realism. Realism tattooing became popular in the 1970s inside California’s Chicano prisons.
As the name implies, these tattoos look realistic. Thus, they come in virtually any color the artists want.
Some use a mixture of bright and dark colors. Others stick to the neutral black and white tones. The color choice depends on the subject and theme of the tattoos.
These subjects can be objects, animals, scenery, or people.
Important Reminders for Before Getting a Tattoo
Retro Tattoo Styles
Regardless of the retro style tattoos that you pick, there are certain rules that you need to observe. And if it is your first time going through the artistic needle, you need to know some hard facts about tattoos.
First, you will feel a constant scratching on your skin. But after the first 15 minutes, your adrenaline should help reduce the pain. However, the pain does not stop there, as you will experience redness and swelling in the area after the procedure.
If you wish to experience the least amount of pain, pick a fleshier spot on your body. Your forearms and wrists are excellent spots for first-timers.
Last but not least, make sure to check the reputation of your tattoo artist. Go for someone with a trusted name in the local tattoo scene to ensure your safety.
Let’s Get You the Tattoo Styles You Want, Today!
Sporting retro tattoo styles is a good way of expressing yourself. But when choosing the designs, make sure to pick something that you feel good and comfortable about. And if you’re looking for an artist you can trust, then you came to the right place. To see what other style that are popular this year, check out our friends at Feedspot and their Top 50 Tattoo Blogs & Websites For Tattoo Artists & Enthusiasts in 2020
Connect with us today and share with us your design ideas. Let us discuss your options and let’s get you the tattoos that you want.
Canine Love: 8 Amazing Tattoo Ideas for Dog Lovers
Amazing Dog Tattoo Ideas
Immortalize your love and the ups and downs you had together with your canine best friend with these amazing dog tattoo ideas.
Americans love their dogs: over 63 million U.S. households are home to at least one canine.
Most dog lovers show off their love for man’s best friend by wearing dog t-shirts or hats or putting a sticker on their car. We here at Skin Factory Tattoo, however, think there’s no better way to proclaim your puppy love to the world than by getting a dog tattoo.
The possibilities are endless for dog lovers. Here’s a look at eight inspired dog tattoo ideas. One of these may just be your next tat.
1. Your Dog
The most obvious tattoo design for any dog owner is to get a rendition of their beloved fur baby. The only drawback is that as tattoos are permanent you have to be OK with seeing a reminder of a deceased pet on your body every day. Although, this can also be a wonderful way to memorialize a beloved part of your family.
For this type of tattoo, it’s best to take photos of your dog and narrow them down to two to three possible shots to show to your tattoo artist. You may want them to capture an exceptionally cute or funny expression that shows off your dog’s personality.
2. Go Abstract
Your tattoo artwork doesn’t have to be highly detailed and show every hair on your dog to be beautiful. Many tattoo artists can take an image and interpret it in an abstract, modern way. We’re not talking about drawing an unrecognizable Picasso-esque version of your dog, but maybe incorporating bright colors, hard-edged shapes, and patterns into the image for a design that really pops.
3. Go Minimal
Maybe you don’t want a big, colorful, splashy tattoo of your dog covering a lot of skin. The good news is dog tattoos can be minimal, too! The perfect dog tattoo for you may consist of a few black lines that form your dog’s face and expression, or your favorite breed.
Or you may want something as simple as the outline of a heart tattooed along with a short sentimental quote about what pet ownership means to you. How about the dog constellation Canis Major with an outline of a dog superimposed over it? Going minimal is a great option for the person who wants a more subdued tattoo design.
4. Paw Print
If you don’t want an image of a dog on your skin but still want to convey your love for all things canine, a paw print tattoo may be the perfect compromise.
And we’re not just talking about cute little cartoon-like paw prints (unless you’d like a trail of those along a body area) but a large, realistic-looking paw impression. Many owners with big dogs even opt for a life-sized rendition of their pooch’s paw print on an arm or leg.
Tattoo artists can get very detailed with this idea by inking in the texture of your dog’s toe pads or making it look like they stepped in mud before they stepped on you. Or they can incorporate your dog’s face into the paw print.
Artists can get surprisingly creative with this tattoo design, so this is definitely one idea you may want to explore.
5. Multiple Dogs
What’s better than one dog tattoo? Several, of course! A really cute idea is to have three or four dog heads tattooed on your lower back, inner arm, or calf area.
If you own more than one pet, this is a great way to include them all in your tattoo design.
6. Your Dog’s Name
Another classic tattoo design is to simply have your dog’s name tattooed. You can choose to have their profile illustrated along with the name, or opt to just have the named inked. You can choose a simple, black and white font, or go for a more decorative and colorful one. The possibilities are endless, and the choice is up to you.
Your artist can also incorporate dog imagery with the lettering—such as a paw print or dog bone—so people will know the name is referring to a loved pet. Some people get a tattoo design depicting a heart-shaped dog tag that has their dog’s name.
7. Flowers and Other Decorative Touches
The beauty of tattoos is what they allow you to get as creative as you like, and that means you can include decorative elements in your dog tattoo such as flowers, stars, or other embellishments.
You could also get a tattoo that pays homage to your dog’s roots, such as showing pine trees behind an Alaskan husky, or a Bavarian mountain behind a German shepherd.
8. Your Dog’s Alter Ego
Do you think your dog sees himself as a superhero, keeping your yard safe from squirrels and alerting you to strangers? Or maybe he has an inner rock star, as evident by his howling each time you play music.
You can get playful with your tattoo design by incorporating a bit of your best friend’s personality into the artwork. Your tattoo artist can render your dog wearing sunglasses or include superhero tattoo elements such as a cape and mask.
Explore These Dog Tattoo Ideas
Dog Tattoo Ideas
As you can see, dog tattoo ideas are really only limited by your imagination. Your tattoo artist should also have plenty of other ideas to help you find the perfect way to show off your love of your dog, or dogs in general, to everyone.
Thinking of getting a dog tattoo, or a tat to symbolize another pet or animal? Contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss your tattoo ideas with us. Our artists will make your vision a reality.