Getting a sleeve tattoo is a big investment in terms of both cost and hours spent a chair. For this reason a lot of guys go in to add one or two small tattoos from time to time while tying it all together with a matching background. Another approach is to take on the entire sleeve at once, which means more cash upfront and longer hours at a time. If you have the money and both you and your artist have the time, go for it. Otherwise, have patience knowing that eventually your sleeve will be complete and looking awesome.
That being said, visually shopping around beforehand, and being able to present your tattoo artist with some inspiration and a basic idea of the style and shapes you're interested in is a great way to prepare for your consultation. And, with all of the beautiful artwork on the Internet and social media these days, there are plenty of resources to be found. However, if you don't have hours to comb the web for tattoos, or want a peek at what inspires us, here are a variety of incredible geometric tattoos to inspire your next piece of ink. (Just remember to practice good tattoo aftercare.)
From striking sleeve designs to geometric animal tattoos, we’ve compiled a list of impressive body art from around the world. We’ve included London-based tattoo artist Mowgli, whose sketch-like style combines ancient symbols, geometric shapes, and archaic engravings. Below, you’ll also find the mesmerizing mandala designs of LA-based Corey Divine who modifies the symbol by repeating angular shapes that expand and contract as the body moves. So, if you’re interested in getting a tattoo with deeper meaning, scroll down for some body art inspiration.
Remember that you will need touch ups. “Anything with a bold composition is usually easy to touch up and bring back to life, as is black and gray blending,” Dowdell says. “If you had a tattoo of a lion in black and gray—let's assume that the composition is solid but the application not so much—then it’s easier for us to go back into it and re-sculpt it into a legitimate piece of art and make it look better.”
The symbolism of the butterfly is as diverse as the species itself. Often associated with the soul, the butterfly may represent the spiritual realm. It is also a strong symbol of transformation because the butterfly transforms from a caterpillar into a butterfly, becoming something new and beautiful. This can be a powerful tattoo for those who have endured hardship of any kind and have found a new, better life...
Although laser treatment is well known and often used to remove tattoos, unwanted side effects of laser tattoo removal include the possibility of discoloration of the skin such as hypopigmentation (white spots, more common in darker skin) and hyperpigmentation (dark spots) as well as textural changes - these changes are usually not permanent when the Nd:YAG is used but it is much more likely with the use of the 755 nm Alexandrite, the 694 nm Ruby and the R20 method. Very rarely, burns may result in scarring but this usually only occurs when patients don't care for the treated area properly. Occasionally, "paradoxical darkening" of a tattoo may occur, when a treated tattoo becomes darker instead of lighter. This occurs most often with white ink, flesh tones, pink, and cosmetic make-up tattoos.
At the parlour the man next to me was having the Rizla logo put on his shin. "Why?" asked the tattooist. "Cos I'm a puff 'ead in't I?", he roared. Then he went, "Woah. Head rush", and fainted. "Only blokes faint," the tattooist said. The puff 'ead couldn't stand his own humiliation and decided to project it on to the nearest female: me. "I bet I scared you, didn't I?" he said.
One small Greek study showed that the R20 method—four passes with the laser, twenty minutes apart—caused more breaking up of the ink than the conventional method without more scarring or adverse effects. However, this study was performed on a very small patient population (12 patients total), using the weakest of the QS lasers, the 755 nm Alexandrite laser. One of the other main problems with this study was the fact that more than half of the 18 tattoos removed were not professional and amateur tattoos are always easier to remove. Proof of concept studies are underway, but many laser experts advise against the R20 method using the more modern and powerful tattoo removal lasers available at most offices as an increase in adverse side effects including scarring and dischromia is likely. Patients should inquire about the laser being used if the R20 treatment method is offered by a facility as it is usually only offered by clinics that are using the weak 755 nm Alexandrite as opposed to the more powerful and versatile devices that are more commonly used. Moreover, dermatologists offering the R20 method should inform patients that it just one alternative to proven protocols and is not a gold standard treatment method to remove tattoos.
Tattoos are beautiful representations and expressions of how we feel and it’s a great way to tell others through the imagery of art. That being said, like all art, tattoos are expensive. They take time and skill and if you want it to look good, it’ll definitely cost you. A single image is going to be a lot cheaper than a whole sleeve of art so as you contemplate whether or not you’d like to invest in a whole sleeve, make sure you allot space in your budget to make it happen.