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Lyndsay
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Hello everyone! I have four tattoos and looking to start a half-sleeve on my arm soon.

I don't know what to say except that I love art (albeit I'm not great at it), I have this weird passion for watching any kind of musical theatre, and I love words (all of my tattoos are quotes except for one).

One of the main reasons I joined this forum was to ask advice for the half-sleeve tattoo I'm trying to design. I've been lurking and I'm loving the conversations that are going on in some of these threads!

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Welcome! As far as advice for designing a half sleeve goes, I strongly recommend that you leave the design up to a tattoo artist, especially because you say that you aren't great at art. What are you thinking of? Also, if you let us know where you live I'm sure we can recommend some great artists near you.

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Thank you to both of you! I definitely left all of my tattoos up to the artist, but I like to try and get the big picture before I go so I can explain it better. I always try and do rough drafts before going so I at least have something to show them! I live in Virginia, semi-close to D.C. My friend has an artist in downtown Fredericksburg that is new that she has been to three times already. From what I've seen of her tattoos (some small, mostly text) the lines have been fantastic and straight and quite beautiful.

For my half-sleeve: Now I've never seen this before, so I'm thinking that it actually can't be done. It's an outline of the cast recording album of Sunday In the Park With George. But I want text wrapped around it, if that makes sense? I'm thinking I've never seen a sleeve like this just because font-wise, I know a lot of artists are picky about the size of it, etc.

http://i59.tinypic.com/f41eoi.png

That's only my second draft, obviously. I just don't want to make a fool out of myself by going there and presenting something similar to this and the artist look at me like I'm crazy. If the text isn't applicable, I am trying to think of other images I could put in, etc. I've even shortened the text in other drafts in case they can't fit that.

Maybe even put the image on the outside of my arm and then under my arm I could put the text?

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Thank you to both of you! I definitely left all of my tattoos up to the artist, but I like to try and get the big picture before I go so I can explain it better. I always try and do rough drafts before going so I at least have something to show them! I live in Virginia, semi-close to D.C. My friend has an artist in downtown Fredericksburg that is new that she has been to three times already. From what I've seen of her tattoos (some small, mostly text) the lines have been fantastic and straight and quite beautiful.

For my half-sleeve: Now I've never seen this before, so I'm thinking that it actually can't be done. It's an outline of the cast recording album of Sunday In the Park With George. But I want text wrapped around it, if that makes sense? I'm thinking I've never seen a sleeve like this just because font-wise, I know a lot of artists are picky about the size of it, etc.

http://i59.tinypic.com/f41eoi.png

That's only my second draft, obviously. I just don't want to make a fool out of myself by going there and presenting something similar to this and the artist look at me like I'm crazy. If the text isn't applicable, I am trying to think of other images I could put in, etc. I've even shortened the text in other drafts in case they can't fit that.

Maybe even put the image on the outside of my arm and then under my arm I could put the text?

I'm not a tattoo artist, so take my advice as you will, but I think the tattoo would be a lot stronger if you dropped the text entirely or reduced it to a short phrase to represent the whole. It will be hard to fit that amount of text in a half-sleeve area and make it both fit your body and be able to do it large enough to keep it readable for years to come. For the drawing part of it, I looked at the album cover and I thought of the tattoos of Cris Cleen and Aron J. Dubois. They do this fine-line, kind of Victorian-styled thing that I think would work really well with an interpretation of that cover. Cris Cleen tattoos out of Saved Tattoo in Brooklyn, and Aron Dubois works in Portland, OR, but he does guest at Saved. Here's a Cris Cleen tattoo that is the kind of thing I was thinking about here:

b52de6a86bfb11e3b5f8122668b8a817_8.jpg

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^That's beautiful!

I figured that the text would be too much. I'm just too in love with words. Thank you for the links. I'm really taken with Aron Dubois' work! I'm definitely working on subtracting text from it and adding more life to the photo so it could stand on its own. Thank you so much for the advice and the links. (:

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Just use the first line. The rest of it is something you can know for yourself or tell someone if you feel like it. But that phrase alone can convey the idea of all of the rest of the text without suffering aesthetic design of the tattoo. I'd also suggest not using a silhouette outline. I can't think of anyone with a silhouette for more than a few years I've talked to or worked on that was still happy with it 5+ years down the line. The question always is "what can you do with this?"

In my opinion 4 words in a banner or two & an image is a concept to work with. Any more than 4 words is usually pushing it, again in my opinion. As always everything is case by case.

Solid advice by Graeme also^

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Thank you irezumi! I'm not a fan of banners. And I know what you mean by the silhouette. If I drop the words it just doesn't stand alone by itself at all and looks completely empty. One day I'll figure this out! I definitely want to take the original painting that the cast recording album is drawn from AND take the album to the artist and see what they can do.

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