I’ve Literally Never done a half sleeve — Javi Antunez

Submitted 11.10.23

I’ve Literally Never done a half sleeve

[15:19] “Always assume the client’s gonna get their whole body tattooed…pretend that that half sleeve will become a full sleeve eventually…you make sure you end it in a way where you…get ready a zipper to eventually…meet up so that when that time comes, it doesn't look like an afterthought.”

— Javi Antunez

When creating larger work like sleeve designs, the significance of working with existing tattoos should be amplified, using the shape of the client's prior tattoos as a foundation and merging them into the new design. The primary idea is to honor the body's natural shape and incorporate the existing art to form a unified, new composition.

The necessity of preparing tattoos for a potential full-body transformation should also be taken into consideration. Artists should be encouraged to visualize that the client might cover their whole body with tattoos eventually. This approach encourages planning each piece in a way that allows for future additions. For instance, leaving transitional space around the wrist in a half-sleeve design for easy extension into a full sleeve later on.

In addition, the importance of considering future tattoo development while understanding the client's current perspective is important as well. Many clients mainly focus on immediate concerns like the pain of the current session. Thinking ahead helps artists create a more coherent and natural-looking collection of tattoos as clients expand their skin gallery. 

Watch the full episode: 

3D Modeling for Realistic Tattoos

 | Javi Antunez | EP 261