Planning the Tattoo Sleeve You Always Wanted


So you’ve got a few tattoos, but they’re too scattered and your limb is starting to look more like a sketch book rather than a nice collection of memorable art pieces. Well, if you’ve reached this point, it might be time to fill it in and complete that sleeve you’ve been considering after you got tattoo number three in the same general area. While planning a sleeve tattoo may be easy for some people, connecting all the dots to create that ideal collage that matches can be difficult.

Now, with that being said, we’ve compiled a list of tips for planning out that sleeve to make sure it doesn’t look like a legal pad doodle, but instead of a nice piece of artwork.

Tips for Getting a Tattoo Sleeve

  • Keep the style similar

    Going with the same artist for each session of your sleeve is the best way to go because the style will inevitably be similar and they know what you’re expecting. However, if you go with a different artist, make sure they have a similar style to the former, otherwise the tattoo could end up looking sloppy, and nobody wants a sloppy sleeve.

  • Determine if you want a theme

    Whether the pieces are odes to family members, have underwater elements, or are based on spiritual beliefs, you need to know if you want to keep this level of consistency throughout the sleeve. If you do, the pieces are going to be far more specific which can be difficult for some when it comes to finding ways to fill the spaces.

  • Make sure the pieces go in the same direction

    You don’t want to have to contort your arm to show your friend your favorite piece that’s upside down on the underside of your arm. So instead of just laying out designs in random areas, make sure they’re all facing the same general direction, even if they’re angled. Just PLEASE don’t put any pieces with what you justify as upside down.

  • Find an artist who specializes in sleeves

    There really aren’t that many full pieces within a full tattoo sleeve, it just looks full because of the fillers. Since all the pieces are different in shape, they don’t really fit together like a puzzle which is why you need an artist who can fill the blank spaces accordingly, and in a style that still fits the theme. Each tattoo artist has an area in which they excel, whether its portraits, shading, black and white, color, or sleeves, you just want to find the right artist that can give you the tattoo you’ve been planning.