Thinking of getting a sleeve tattoo? Read this first

Sleeve tattoos are more popular than ever, so there’s a good chance that if you’re serious about ink, you’re considering one.

A sleeve tattoo isn’t something you should do on the spur of the moment. It’s a big job, and as such you need to plan it out beforehand.

Think about an overall theme for the sleeve, if you’re getting colour or black and grey, and how much you want to spend on it - both money and time.

Types of sleeve tattoo

There are four main types of sleeve tattoo:

  1. Quarter: Covers the area from the top of the shoulder midway to the elbow.

  2. Half: This extends from the top of the shoulder to the elbow.

  3. Full Sleeve: This reaches from the top shoulder to the wrist.

  4. Hikae: This is a Japanese-style sleeve tattoo that covers the chest area and extends either to the elbow or the wrist.

As mentioned before, planning is the key when it comes to sleeve tattoos. Jot down some ideas about what you want and talk it over with your artist. If you’re a little bit artistic yourself, try a few sketches and bring them in to show roughly what it is you’re looking for. Any good tattoo artist will be happy to work with you on this and develop your ideas.

How long does a sleeve tattoo take?

The time for any tattoo is dependent on the size and detail of the design. A full sleeve should take a minimum of 12 hours on average, broken up into several sessions.

A sleeve tattoo shouldn’t be rushed. Many people have a vague theme/design as a base, and then add milestones in their life to it over the years. Others see something the Rock has and want to copy it immediately. The choice is always yours, but a tattoo is for life, and a sleeve tattoo is a BIG tattoo for life, so think carefully about it.