Spring is just around the corner and you know what that means, the weather is heating up, and the sleeves are coming off, revealing all sorts of hidden ink gems that lie dormant in the winter. Now that t-shirt weather is approaching, it’s an ideal time to start on that sleeve you always wanted. It’s not going to be cheap, and it’s probably going to hurt, but the reward comes when you get to tear off your oppressive winter threads to reveal an incredible piece of art underneath. So stuff your ugly sweaters and heavy jackets into a box in the attic and get ready to display your sleeve to the world.
Now before we get all gung ho and head out to the parlor without anything more than a wide grin, cash in hand, and a vague idea that you want a sleeve, let us think this through. Getting a sleeve is a huge commitment. It either means finding an employer who is tattoo friendly, or suffering in a long sleeve shirt during the heat of the summer. So here are some things to consider before you take the plunge.
First, unless you want to keep it covered while it's being developed, it is usually best to plan the design so that the tattoo looks finished at each stage, because it takes multiple sessions to complete a sleeve. It will take months to complete, and you don't want an obviously unfinished design in the meantime. Another option for the cash strapped, or for someone who works in an uptight work environment is a half-sleeve. It will cost less, and if you cut it off just above the elbow, it will be far easier to conceal. The last thing to consider is local culture. Now, I will be the first to get on my stump and tell you to feel free to do what you want, that's part of what getting a tattoo is all about, self-expression and freedom. However, if it's going to make you self-conscious and worried about job prospects, maybe stick with something a little less conspicuous for now.
Leg sleeves are not for the faint of heart. Not only is there more real estate on the leg, which means more time under the needle, but there are also some sensitive pain points, such as the feet, behind the knees, and below the glutes. But for those who take pleasure in a little pain, and want to rock a leg sleeve, I salute you. There are few things more awe inspiring than a leg covered from hip to toe in ink. Just be sure to wear short enough shorts so that passersby can ogle at your glorious legs. And be sure to check out the Painful Pleasures Clothing and Accessories section to find the perfect clothing to compliment your killer arm or leg sleeve.