For more than 5,000 years, people have been subjecting themselves to ink-stained needles in an attempt to turn their bodies into art. The 25th-anniversary edition of Taschen’s 1000 Tattoos explores the history of body art around the world, from Maori facial engravings to skinhead markings to ’20s circus ladies to awful drunken mistakes (hello, ankle dolphin tattoo). Edited by art historian Burkhard Riemschneider and inker of the stars Henk Schiffmacher (who’s also head of the Amsterdam Tattoo Museum), the book offers 1,000 images of people who have permanently altered their bodies with ink in ways shocking (a butt turned into a giant face), beautiful (the work of contemporary tattoo art stars), and unfortunate (so many exes’ names).
A sleeve tattoo comes from the cooperation between the tattooist and the customer, in order to show a theme that they have both liked and agreed on. Occasionally, the sleeve is made when someone has plenty of small, individual tattoos found on their leg or arm. This person eventually has them linked to each other with a background tattooing, to be able to create a complete sleeve tattoo. A full sleeve tattoo can take endless hours of non-stop tattooing, sometimes taking days, weeks, months, and even years to finish. Tattoo sleeves have become so popular that plenty of clothing companies have created apparel that simulates the look and feel of a tattoo sleeve with the help of a transparent mesh, that’s printed with tattoo designs. If a person gets both of their arms tattooed as a part of a full-body tattoo, this is also referred to as a sleeve tattoo.

We could go on for hours talking about animals and their symbolism, the connections they have with us humans and how they bewitch us with their strength and beauty. But we prefer to leave you with the images of the tattoos we have chosen: the best, interpreted by the greatest international tattoo artists. They come in all styles from realistic to traditional, funny style to neo-traditional and Avant garde. Just take a look and choose your animal spirit guide!


They say cats stand for the wilder side of nature, free and independent, enigmatic and mysterious. The ancient Egyptians considered the cat a god. A lunar creature, it represents the feminine, magic, night time, in contrast to the masculine and all that is solar. The total opposite of the dog, in fact, that other domestic animal par excellence, the symbol of loyalty and protection.

Custom Tattoo Design (CTD) go out of their way to make sure you are happy with the end result. Before you receive the final design, the artist sends you a rough sketch to approve. If you aren’t satisfied with their design, CTD will give you a full refund of your deposit. The final design comes with a certificate of authenticity releasing the copyright from the artist so you can get your custom tattoo inked.
The costs associated with tattoos aren’t cheap, unless you get a temporal one. If you want to get a large tattoo, be prepared to pay more, since the cost can go up to a thousand dollars. The average tattoo can have a cost of $50 up to $100 per hour of service. So if you want to get a tattoo that requires more time, you’ll end up paying more. If you want a customized look for your tattoo, the artist can charge you at least $250 and even higher, with every hour of tattoo service. Also remember that tattoo artists are only capable of quoting the exact prices, after you have chosen on the certain tattoo to be placed on your skin.
The Japanese sleeve tattoo has long been accepted as a symbol of both spiritual and social status. Although after World War II, the Emperor of Japan was quick to outlaw them since he wants to improve the country’s appearance. And much like anything else that gets outlawed, people began envying what they couldn’t have – Which is what happened in the case of the Yakuza, also known as the Japanese mafia. The Yakuza weren’t the only ones to adopt the traditional art of tattooing – Foreigners did the same as well. The Japanese style sleeve tattoo has a beautiful floral design, a deep meaning, as well as a colorful motif.

Yup, you found it. This is the famous “Tattoo Sleeves” 140 greatest of all time” page with the most amazing sleeve tattoos ever. Congrats. You found it!There’s no particular meaning behind tattoo sleeves, they are just awesome and demand a huge amount of creativity to make one that stands out from the rest. They also take a lot of time and effort to make, and quite a lot of endurance for the one who gets it done.
Tattoo sleeves often look their best colorful. Whether you opt for traditional old school tattoos, mermaid or pin-updesigns, or an armful of colorful flowers , adding vibrant details to your tattoo sleeves can really really make them pop. When you select your designs, analyze the colors as well. There's nothing worse than despising orange on your skin only to sport a huge Tiger Lily later. Often overlooked, this step is important so pay attention. Your artist isn't going to analyze or know these things about you so think about them first and speak up.
The symbolism of the butterfly is as diverse as the species itself. Often associated with the soul, the butterfly may represent the spiritual realm. It is also a strong symbol of transformation because the butterfly transforms from a caterpillar into a butterfly, becoming something new and beautiful. This can be a powerful tattoo for those who have endured hardship of any kind and have found a new, better life...
Because of the variety and versatility, it gives to the designer as well as the bearer, it is a great piece of art for those who want to show off their individuality and originality to the whole world. The one and the only thing to bear in mind before having a sleeve tattoo etched is that it requires a great deal of commitment, as time, money and comfort, all are at stake. And another factor which you should base your decision is that you should be willing to carry such a tattoo with your forever because, once done, such a tattoo is hard to get rid of due to its size and prominence. The lasting nature of this tattoo can make it both, beneficial as well as disadvantaged for the bearer.

Card symbols have long been popular symbols to get inked. The ace of spades is usually the most popular one to get but not far behind are the Queens. The queen of clubs symbolises a strong willed and positive person. Tattoos in between the fingers usually need to get redone every few years as they do fade due to the amount of rubbing that occurs there.
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