The very first step to planning a sleeve is researching and then deciding what style you want your tattoos to be in. There are countless styles. There are also no end of ways you can have a tattoo injected in terms of where and how you can get one on your body too. At the end of the day, it is a form of art in the very essence of the word.
Definitely research your artist, and have them make something unique just for you. It’s never good to ask a tattoo artist to copy someone else’s tattoo and just have a design someone already has. This is also a bit lazy too.
What subject are you going for? have a good think about how to choose something applicable
Choosing a tattoo subject can be challenging. A lot of people opt for a symbol that’s meaningful to them, others prefer to create a unique piece with multiple elements, while other people simply go for a piece they like and find aesthetically pleasing. With so many options, you need to narrow down what you’re really looking for.
Want a meaningful tattoo? Think about something you love, whether it be a person, an animal, a memory, etc. You can also take a look at the portfolio of your favourite tattoo artists. Social media such as Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook may be good for inspiration, but remember that your piece has to be unique. Avoid replicating other people’s tattoos. Collecting multiple reference pictures of tattoo styles and subjects to show to your artist will be very helpful during tattoo consultation.
Going for the right overall style
Once you’ve chosen a placement and subject for your new tattoo, it’s time to pick a style. To help you navigate through the myriad of tattoo styles, we listed the most popular ones on our blog (read them here and here). The right style can make or break a tattoo, hence the importance of choosing carefully. A tattoo done in tribal style will look completely different done in realism. Remember to bring a few different reference pictures to guide your artist in their creative process.
E-consultations are now becoming more of a thing
Tattooers as well as clients are homebound and face-to-face consultations are out of the picture, but ideas can be discussed online. If you have an idea and artist in mind, why not take this time to write to them. Find out whether they would potentially be interested in working with you and what the approximate price would be. Maybe you also need advice with placement or size? For more complicated designs, I have performed consultations over the phone or through Skype. In any case, the internet is great for discussing ideas! Asking for advice and discussing everything through is free, so now is the best time for it.
The final step and getting this right
Once your mind is set on a project, you can book a tattoo consultation with the artist of your choice. To better help your artist envision your idea, bring some reference pictures of the tattoo style and subject you want. The clearer your idea, the better your artist will be at designing your tattoo. Although your mind might be set on a very specific idea, your artist might suggest alternatives or different designs better suited to your project. You should always trust your artist’s expertise. If they suggested something a bit different than what you intended, it’s because they’ve got good reasons.