I now think of my sleeve as a form of socially legitimised self-harm, done at a time when I was agonising about my career. A self-sabotaging former child prodigy and writer whose physical prowess is part of the package, and whose best days are behind them by their 20s? The sleeve had to be done. And since then more and more people have made the same decision, although probably for very different reasons. Fifa has just released photos of the England World Cup squad, revealing that four players have had the mental acuity to pick up on the sleeve trend just five years after it first peaked, inspired by David Beckham. Justin Bieber has, inevitably, completed a sleeve too.
Generally speaking, geometric tattoos tend to draw from shapes and patterns in the natural world. Some symbols, like the ones above, are associated with deeper religious and cultural backgrounds. Among the basic shapes, circles can portray relationships and community, and square-based designs stand for stability. Combining or connecting them is a way to convey balance between the two. More intricate figures, such as a dodecahedron (three-dimensional shape with 12 plane faces) or icosahedron (with 20 plane faces) may show the juxtaposition of complexity and unity.
The half sleeve is generally the preferred style of arm tattoo at the moment. Unlike having a full sleeve it allows you to cover up your tattoos with a t-shirt should you need to for work or any other occasion. It also means that you don’t have to tattoo your elbow which can be a difficult area to work with and often you are restricted to the types of styles that you can get inked there.
Attaining balance and harmony has always been the primary goal of human existence as it is the prerequisite of living a happy and fulfilled life. Geometrical tattoo designs have been a step in this direction because symmetry is a part and parcel of these designs, as they ensure that all the elements of the designs are placed in perfect balance with each other. Here are some common designs:
Tattoos consist of thousands of particles of tattoo pigment suspended in the skin. While normal human growth and healing processes will remove small foreign particles from the skin, tattoo pigment particles are too big to be removed automatically. Laser treatment causes tattoo pigment particles to heat up and fragment into smaller pieces. These smaller pieces are then removed by normal body processes. Q-switched lasers produce bursts of infrared light at specific frequencies that target a particular spectrum of color in the tattoo ink. The laser passes through the upper layers of the skin to target a specific pigment in the lower layers.
The finger second in from the pinkie finger on the left hand is commonly known as the ‘ring finger’ and is often reserved for a wedding ring as a sign that you’re married. It is quite common place for modern couples to get a tattoo there in place of a ring as rings are very expensive especially to lose! A small, simple tattoo such as the love heart above looks beautiful and is also easy to cover up should you need to.
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Certain colors have proved more difficult to remove than others. In particular, this occurs when treated with the wrong wavelength of laser light is used. Some have postulated that the reason for slow resolution of green ink in particular is due to its significantly smaller molecular size relative to the other colours. Consequently, green ink tattoos may require treatment with 755 nm light but may also respond to 694 nm, 650 nm and 1064 nm. Multiple wavelengths of light may be needed to remove colored inks.
There’s a lot of variation in this piece which makes it appealing to the casual observer. There’s a keen sense of continuity in the art. The bird has such a vivid appearance that makes it real looking. The attention to its detail in every feather is done really well. The way that the branches swerve all around makes it appear less lifelike but very interesting. The artist brings an added zing with the red flower at the wrist and it’s interesting how the artist implemented the canvas’s skin as part of the backdrop.