Originally Posted by Rage
Hi, I'm planning to get a half sleeve tattoo for my 20th birthday (20th Nov) and I wanted to ask some questions about getting it done.
First off, are half sleeves all from shoulder to elbow? Or can you get ones that don't go on the shoulder too?
Secondly are there any good custom tattoo artists who could draw a design for me that I could use in another shop, or would it be best to get it done from the same store. What would be the price of a custom tattoo drawing?
How long does a half sleeve take on average to finish (with colour and shading)?
Why do you need to do these tattoos in sessions?
Thank you so much for you help
That's a lot of questions!
Most half-sleeves are from shoulder to elbow, some of the traditional Japanese and Maori/Polynesian/Pacific tribal half-sleeves start on the chest, but that depends on what style you're getting.
It's a little bit of an unconventional route getting an artist to draw up a design and taking it to another shop. A lot of them will find that really quite rude, and paying them rubs it in. I'd get the actual artist you want to custom-draw you something, because they're the ones putting it on you they'll do a better job and will follow the process through.
It all depends on the speed of the artist, depending on how complicated it is and what style you'd like. I'd ask to see examples of sleeves and how long it took them, try to think about sessions rather than hours. The reason for sessions is because not only does it give your skin time to rest, but it means the artist can take a break and do it all in stages, like you would if you doing a piece of art on paper. You have to remember it's not like a standard tattoo, which covers a certain area, half-sleeves cover your entire upper arm, there's no gaps left uninked, it's really difficult to do that all in one. Doing it in sessions also allows the artist to concentrate on each area; lines, shading, background ect.
Hope my rambling answers help