Tattoo Sleeve Ideas – Awesome Sleeve Tattoos & Designs

sleeve. peonys, blossoms and waves.

Sleeve with peonys, blossoms and waves.

Tattoos are an excellent way to decorate your body. There are big ones and small ones; but for someone who really wants to go all out with their creative expression, sleeve tattoos are the best choice!  Once upon a time, tattoos were small and inconspicuous. They were put on areas of the body that were either hidden or hardly ever seen in public. Nowadays, people want to display their body art and this has led to a major increase of tattoo sleeve ideas and designs.

Sleeve tattoos are quickly gaining momentum that has pushed them to the top of the most popular tattoos list. If you are unsure of what this type of tattoo is, here is a basic definition for you; the sleeve tattoo is one that adorns part of the arm but can be covered by the sleeves of a shirt. You can get one in three different sleeve sizes: quarter sleeve, half sleeve and full sleeve. The quarter sleeve tattoos cover up the part of your arm that goes from the bicep to the shoulder. The half sleeve tattoo covers up the part of your arm from either the wrist to the elbow or from the elbow to the shoulder blades. The full sleeve tattoo covers your entire arm from shoulder blade to wrist.

sleeve tattoo in progress

Colorful sleeve tattoo in progress

When getting sleeve tattoos you can either go all the way in one session or in multiple sessions. People who have less tolerance to pain may choose to go with several sessions to give their pain receptors a break. Others go all in with only one session. It all depends on your tolerance for pain. Some people choose one small or medium sized design to begin with, and later on down the road add onto it to make a full sleeve tattoo. Taking the time to choose your design(s) is important as a sleeve tattoo should say something valid about who you are.

Sleeve Tattoo Ideas for Men and Women

There are so many sleeve tattoo designs that it is impossible to list each and every one of them! Besides, sleeve tattoo designs can be pretty personal so there are many that no one knows about except the wearer. But, some of the most popular designs are Celtic and tribal in nature. With these two themes, the design and the color make it extremely appealing and attractive. Even for those who choose to have only black ink involved in their sleeve art, the effect is absolutely stunning! Now you may be wondering if sleeve tattoos are just for men and the answer would be a big fat NO! Even though the arm is a more common place for a man to put body art, many women find sleeve tattoos on their own body to be very attractive.

Jesus last supper sleeve tattoo

Absolutely amazing tattoo of “Jesus’ last supper”

For men, the arms are the most popular area (next to the back) to get tattoos, making the tattoo sleeve designs perfect for them! Some of the most popular choice of design for men include tribal, Celtic, Chinese, Aztec and zodiac. The tribal themed designs have dark and bold lines that can be made into an image or woven with intricate lines. Sometimes there is even a design added just beneath the tribal art. Many chose to add lizards, the teeth of animals, turtles and sharks. The Celtic theme is also one of woven lines; they are just a bit thinner than the tribal lines. The pattern however, is quite distinct.

For women the sleeve tattoo designs and themes are a bit different. They typically don’t go for tribal or Celtic. The majority of female sleeve tats are very colorful, and in some cases, unusual. Women of all ages are falling in love with the sleeve tattoos and branding themselves with things such as angels, flowers, and astrological signs (sun, moon, stars, etc.). You may see a woman with sleeve art that includes Koi fish, shooting stars, praying angels with glittering and bright wings, etc. It appears though, that the most popular sleeve tattoo designs for women are those of Japanese art. This is why the Koi fish is so popular! Also included in the popular Japanese body art are swords, cherry blossoms and dragons.

Famous Tattoo Sleeves

John Mayer's sleeve tattoo

John Mayer‘s sleeve tattoo

Sleeve tattoos are not just popular with the commoners.  Many famous faces carry around these awesome tattoo sleeve designs as well and are proud of it! Most music lovers have heard of John Mayer. He is one of the famous faces I am speaking of.  On his left arm is a full sleeve tattoo of mega floral proportions! It is a bit of a stretch for a rocker, but nonetheless beautiful. Our next famous face is David Beckham, and while his sleeve tat is a fake for his role in the television series Prison Break, it is still a masterpiece. This marvelous sleeve pictures an angel sitting on fluffy looking clouds. Very nice work to the artists working on Prison Break!

And representing the ladies is Jessica Alba with a quarter sleeve tattoo design. What is her sleeve made out of? ROSES! Ok, so it is not real, but if it were it would look lovely on her. Jessica has been wearing lots of fake body art to prepare for her newest project. Once the project is over the ink will fade, but maybe Jess will be inspired to get the real deal? If I were her I would miss my body art terribly once it was gone. Either way, her having one will certainly inspire other gals to get inked from shoulder to wrist!

No matter what design that you get or if you are male or female, keep in mind that sleeve tattoos are complex pieces of art. Getting one done to completion is an expensive (and painful) undertaking. Because of this you may want to take your time choosing your designs and get them done over a period of time. Don’t forget that you can begin with a small design and continue to build upon it later. Take the time to think things through before you make your decisions and make sure that the sleeve you get screams your name!

More Tattoo Sleeve Ideas

sleeve tattoo 1

Half Sleeve tat

sleeve tattoo 2

sleeve tattoo 3

sleeve tattoo 4

sleeve tattoo 4

sleeve tattoo 5

sleeve tattoo 6

sleeve tattoo 7

whole sleeve tattoo 8

half sleeve tattoo 10