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how long in between starting and finishing a big sleeve?


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Hey guys. If this post would go better elsewhere, just let me know.

I'm just curious if anyone else has any guidance on how long between sessions it will usually be before you finish a big sleeve piece. I am going in late this month to have my artist start a pretty detailed calf sleeve, it's more on the traditional side. My artist said he wanted to do linework, then shading, and then color. I realize it's a big undertaking and I definitely don't want to rush it. But I do want to try and finish this before summertime so I can be healed and in my trunks poolside. How long do you guys generally recommend waiting between sessions?

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Generally twice a month was realistic for me for multisession pieces like my chest, ribs, legs. Getting tattooed is a delicate balance: of finances (save up in advance), time off work (bank your vaca/sick days), time to heal and recover (sched around your activities and commitments while having your body feeling raw w/ limited mobility), and most importantly time to enjoy life (I enjoy the masochism of tattooing my body haha).

For my leg it was 1-2 x a month for a couple months. A Leg has roughly double the surface area or an arm, keep that in mind.

I would recommend sittings every 2~3 weeks, if your tattooer's schedule works that way. Minimum once a month. Any longer gaps than that and you run the risk of being an unfinished statistic. It is best to keep a routine and frequency, it gets you and tattooer focused on getting it done. The best and most efficient way to get a big tattoo, don't f*ck around get it done in a timely manner!

Also consider - find your equilibrium of how long you can/should sit. I don't sit for more than 4 hrs, but that is me personally. I can and I have, but sitting a marathon session just makes it harder on my body to heal and bounce back and keep up with the rest of my lifestyle. Tattooing the body is hard on the immune system. So keep healthy and keep that in mind if you are planning on long and/or frequent sits.

Don't be a statistic, there are too many unfinished sleeves that get shown off in the summer.

If you can do an accelerated schedule and are starting right away, you will likely be fine for summer but caution that a tattoo may be superficially healed in a few weeks but it doesn't really settle in the skin for about 6 months in my experience. Best is to get your tattoo work during the winter months aka "tattoo season" so you are good to go for the summer sunshine... But this is coming from the Great White North (Edmonton, Canada) where we get like 9 months of dry -30C cold and then 3 glorious months of summer. Yeah, we were colder than friggin Siberia and Mars (WTF) at times! Like hell I want to be peeling, wearing pants and shirt, hiding from the sun fun when I finally get to come out of winter hibernation! The only healing I want to worry about is my sunburn (on non-tattooed skin hehe). But hey life happens and it's always moving forward (well hopefully for ya) so you do what you gotta do. You want this kick ass big tattoo now or do you want to kick it by the pool in the summer? Eh there's always next summer ;)

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I usually work on the sleeve about 5 sessions spaced at about a month. But it depends on the healing of a man - not always heal equally fast, the situation may be different even depending on the work done on the previous session.

If we divide the sleeve into two parts, for example, the operation to be faster. First sleeve top, and then, without waiting for the healing of the top - immediately after a couple of days of rest - they do sleeves, then healed the top - a session on it. Then - at the bottom of the sleeves healed.

But it also depends on the time the session for which the master can handle. Tattooist same can also get tired.)

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