DavidR

Traditional Sleeve - One artist or many?

Recommended Posts

So after a false start, I'm in the process of booking an appointment for my first tattoo. The goal is to end up with a full traditional sleeve.

I have one unanswered question though. Should I stick with one artist for the whole sleeve or collect work from multiple artists? I both like and dislike the aesthetic of a single artist. One the one hand, the consistent colour palette and style can look great but on the other hand, it can all end up looking a bit samey if your not careful. Given that I have a lot of skin to work with, I have the luxury of being able to do both (I have two arms) so it's not something I really have to decide before booking for my second tattoo but I'd appreciate hearing of other peoples' experiences, particularly from people that are well on the way down one road or the other.

Thanks in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently completed my right sleeve (an 18 month project), and with two exceptions it was done by multiple (5) artists from the same shop.

For the most part, it chronicles my time I spent caring for my wife as she battled and lost her life to brain tumors.

The folks at Envy Skin Gallery "get it" and made me a part of their family. I cannot thank Billy Hill and Company enough.

Fuck Cancer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
suprising you have 62 posts and no ink yet ;)

get on with it :)

I'm working on it :p It's taken me a quarter of a century to get this far. My progress in the past three months has been hypersonic by comparison :D

I recently completed my right sleeve (an 18 month project), and with two exceptions it was done by multiple (5) artists from the same shop.

For the most part, it chronicles my time I spent caring for my wife as she battled and lost her life to brain tumors.

The folks at Envy Skin Gallery "get it" and made me a part of their family. I cannot thank Billy Hill and Company enough.

Fuck Cancer.

Fuck cancer indeed. Sorry for your loss.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with @marley mission, get the tattoo and see. If you're going to piece many smaller tattoos together into something larger you don't have to decide anything right away. There are advantages and disadvantages to each approach but both can land you with something great so it's really entirely a matter of personal preference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@marley mission, @Graeme have some good advice....

My 2 cents would be "pace not race" meaning, don't rush it.... sounds like you waited this long.

The cool experience for a lot of folks, including myself, about getting tattooed is the adventure. Wait and see how you feel about the first one. If you dig it and want to commit to a sleeve, see what/who else is out there. Take a road trip or plan part of a vacation around getting tattooed by someone you may have discovered. There is soooo many GREAT artists out there, it won't be hard. I personally think several artists mashed together, especially for traditional imagery, looks cool....

Nothing wrong with sticking with one artists either....just take your time either way!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've been tattooed by dozens of people, and I wouldn't trade those experiences.

That said, after seeing this arm by Paul Dobleman, I wish I had given him a full limb:

11230461_804165169661041_284173069_n.jpg

Agreed. Either route you go is perfectly fine. There is no wrong way to do it.

Every time I get a new tattoo, I have a new plan of attack afterwards. So just go one at a time and see how you fee.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've been tattooed by dozens of people, and I wouldn't trade those experiences.

That said, after seeing this arm by Paul Dobleman, I wish I had given him a full limb:

11230461_804165169661041_284173069_n.jpg

That Dobleman sleeve is so rad. I agree with what everyone else has posted so far, there's no wrong way to approach it. For me, I'm in an area surrounded by so many awesome artists that I enjoy getting work done by multiple people to fill out my limbs. It's one of the advantages of living in the Bay Area, almost makes the lack of parking and the sky-high rent worth it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm doing both! One of my arms is all one artist, and the other will be one tattoo from any given artist, though the size of the pieces so far means it'll probably fill up pretty fast, hah.

If you decide to do your arm one way, theoretically you always have the other one to do the other way (unless you don't, in which case another limb will hopefully suffice).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advise guys. This is just a case of me following my usual route and over thinking everything. As I've said elsewhere, I make conservative life choices and as a result, I've missed out on opportunities in the past. Deciding to get tattooed after all these years was a concious attempt to combat that tendency. Ironically, I've never regretted ANY of the crazier things I've done in life so what I'm trying to protect myself from, I'm not sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think about this a lot too. I'm booked I. To get my first " proper tattoo" in August with Andrea Giulimondi at the family business. I'm going to discuss future tattoos with him on the day and just take it from there! I am also guilty of overthinking. I just really like tattoos to flow nicely though. Even traditional ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really interesting point.

I would feel so awkward going back to an artist with someone's else's work right next to theirs, asking for them to now work around that.

I'm just of the assumption that they just wouldn't appreciate it, or that i'd been disloyal. But then i'm a paranoid little bunny at times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've gone to several artists so far and will be going to more in the future. I enjoy all the subtle differences between artists. One guy might draw a rose totally different from another guy, it's been fun mashing up different approaches. In addition, I have pretty bad social anxiety, so I've previously referred to getting tattooed as "therapy" (only half joking). Going to new places and meeting new people has done wonders for my self esteem and confidence.

EDIT:

I would feel so awkward going back to an artist with someone's else's work right next to theirs, asking for them to now work around that.

I think this is pretty par for the course with traditional style and I don't think anyone would be offended or bat an eye at it. I've seen world class artists do awkward fillers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Really interesting point.

I would feel so awkward going back to an artist with someone's else's work right next to theirs, asking for them to now work around that.

I'm just of the assumption that they just wouldn't appreciate it, or that i'd been disloyal. But then i'm a paranoid little bunny at times.

Most artists are confident in there work and thrive on and get inspired by seeing others work. It's almost a friendly rivalry like "oh they did that awesome piece, watch what I can do". I found in my personal experience, It inspires most artists to step up their game.

The only time you would be disloyal to an artist is if you commit to have them design/draw an entire sleeve, start the work, then go to someone else to finish or change or add to it. That wouldn't be an issue if you were getting several pieces to make up a sleeve, as the thread is speaking about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't really think either one is a bad idea, but going to different artist and get different traditional pieces looks pretty cool and I think it adds a good sense of character, it's also cool to talk to other artists and hear their different perspectives about tattooing and anything really haha But yeah, as long as you take recommendation from the guys and girls on this forum about which tattooers to go to, you'll always end up with an awesome tattoo :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as you choose your artists well, you really can't go wrong either way. Both my arms are sleeved by one artist each (continuous pieces, not individual tattoos put together). One is color/neotraditional, one is black/dotwork. Sometimes I'm envious of people who have piecewise sleeves because it gives them a chance to get tattooed by more artists, and sometimes I'm envious of people with bodysuits done by one person. All that said, I love both my sleeves and have enjoyed each session I've had for different reasons. I really wouldn't trade them.

So go in, get your first tattoo done and see where that takes you. It'll be sick either way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I am hugely biased and would say mix it up! Im currently up to 13 different artists on my arms (still got space, yay!) At this stage it becomes a hugely enjoyable experience walking into a tattoo studio and artists having the opportunity to see other artists work, not even my best friends would be able to tell the difference in artists if I told them! It all adds to the experience, like others have said, it's not a race, plus you never know where life will take you. If someone said 18 months ago that I'd be living in Melbourne i would have laughed at them. But now i have the opportunity to be tattooed by some amazing guys out here, already knocked Jess Swaffer and Josh Sutterby off the list, up next is Fergus Simms, John Entwistle and Cindy Ray!!! It would suck limiting myself IMO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As long as you choose your artists well, you really can't go wrong either way. Both my arms are sleeved by one artist each (continuous pieces, not individual tattoos put together). One is color/neotraditional, one is black/dotwork. Sometimes I'm envious of people who have piecewise sleeves because it gives them a chance to get tattooed by more artists, and sometimes I'm envious of people with bodysuits done by one person. All that said, I love both my sleeves and have enjoyed each session I've had for different reasons. I really wouldn't trade them.

So go in, get your first tattoo done and see where that takes you. It'll be sick either way.

Can you post a pic? I would love to see the work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The worst sleeves I've seen have been patched together by numerous people. Though it's possible to get it done by multiple people, they all have to be able to use styles and blend their own work well with others.

When you're just getting a loose tattoo, everything doesn't have to flow. So two good artists will each produce two good tattoos. But when it has to flow, they need a second type of talent, that I'm not sure most artists possess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recent Posts

    • So in the end, they emailed me saying they have to reschedule and they needed to be with family. I asked for my deposit back and they said it was no problem and to just call the shop and ask for it. I think your right atomicmagpye, the tattoo gods are telling me something lol. Luckily I got in with another artist, I was planning to go to anyways, on friday to get the same subject in a different style.
    • See video for what happens when someone tattoos you in an RV - or in this case a car. It's the acceleration, corners and braking that usually cause the issues. It may be possible on a long stretch of highway - but still not usually recommended. skip to 35 seconds in for the educational bit.    
    • I would ask for the deposit back and find someone else,  if you feel bad about it explain you have no more vacation days.  It's not their fault re their current issues - but by the same token it is not yours either and they have already cancelled on you once. The tattoo gods may be trying to tell you something here :-). Anyhow My advice for what it's worth would be  - get the deposit back and find someone else..... Cheers and have a marvellous day. R.
  • Last Sparrow Tattoo Sponsors

  • Instagram #LastSparrow

  • Recent Topics