First of, it takes a ton of work. On my end and the receiving end. Drawing one take hours and hours. Probably on average 5 hours for me. Which I do not charge for because you will be in the chair for many many hours and will end up paying a few thousand dollars or more!
I think the one thing that people don't understand from the get go is that sleeves take a really long time. And usually there is always like a coverup involved since people get a small piece on their arm never thinking they would get a sleeve, and then years later, what do you know? you want a sleeve! When someone tells me they want a sleeve, we go through the consult and I always lay it out to them, OK, if your really down for a sleeve, you have to come in every 3 weeks just about and it's going to be a few hundred dollars or more every time and it's going to take a year. When people agree to this that's when I feel like I can go ahead, but they have to commit to it and show me that they really want it. The problem is, that about half way through people's energy starts to wane and they don't sit as good or they don't make it to their appointment. This is always the bummer for me, because I show up for them every time ready to deliver the goods!
|I always start with a very rough , crude drawing to block out the basic lay out|
|Here is a current sleeve in progress- they always look wierd until it's done!|
|Here's a basic trace out of the arm that I use for my drawing, it's hard to tell in this photo, but it's like 2' by 1'!|
Another thing that I run up against when I am doing full color sleeves, is that sun exposure is an issue. Sleeves take so long to do sometimes, that if you run into the summer, and do not keep it out of the sun or tanning, it will do a number on your skin, making it (your skin) tattoo like crap. So basically once you start getting a sleeve, your kinda locked down for fun in the sun stuff.