Arm tattoos are possibly more popular now than they ever have been. It might be because people realize that there are a lot of creative things you can do with arm tattoos. Perhaps it’s because employers are more accepting of people who have tattoos on their arms. Either way, it seems as though people will continue to get arm tattoos for the foreseeable future.

The long expanse of the arm leaves endless possibilities for tattoos and is often used for large sleeve pieces that cover the entire area. What’s great about sleeves is that it creates the perfect opportunity for people to use as many images as they want to so they can get the meaning across easier. When done correctly, large sleeve arm tattoos can be both beautiful and extremely meaningful. Sleeves are obviously going to be more expensive than smaller arm tattoos, but most people will tell you that they’re worth it if you work with the right artist.

There are countless options for themes and ideas when it comes to sleeve tattoos as the larger pieces can wrap around the curve of the bicep or forearm. And this is definitely something you’ll want to think through thoroughly before you commit to a design. Since you’ll have a wrapping image, the design will have to tilt a bit, making for a whole new effect. You’ll want to choose an arm tattoo design that looks great from both sides of your arm and from every angle. When done correctly, people seem to be most proud of their sleeves because they are much harder to perfect.

The arm can also serve as the surface for multiple, smaller images that do not necessarily work as a cohesive piece. Where you place these smaller arm tattoos usually won’t affect the meaning too much, but you do want to get them placed so they go with lines of your arm. You’ll want to think about if you want the arm tattoo to be horizontal or vertical, and you will want to make sure that the parts of the image that you want to stand out are on a more elevated part of your arm.

Smaller pieces are often viewed by the observer in one glance and work better as images that fit into a singular concept. You should think about how a single image can “pop” off of your skin as well as a larger arm tattoo would. Your artist should be able to help you to pick an image that works and choose a spot on your arm that works best for it.

Smaller pieces are just as open to options as sleeve tattoos and depend solely on the preference of the individual. In fact, sometimes the idea you have works better as a smaller arm tattoo than as any type of sleeve. If you know that you want a single image, a small band, or anything else that doesn’t work with a sleeve, talk to your tattoo artist about how to make it look great on your arm.

In traditional Western tattoos, sleeves are made up of images that appear more singular than modern sleeves. Sailor Jerry tattoos, for example, use nautical symbols or traditional tattoo images like sparrows that work together with a lot of open space in between. These aren’t as common as modern sleeves anymore, but many people still do like to get sleeve tattoos that have more space between the images. Again, it will come down to what meaning(s) you’re trying to get across and the types of designs you’re happy with.

Smaller pieces on their own are usually done in great detail in order to appear more captivating, despite the size. These do not usually have a lot of space between them since the point of the smaller tattoos is to take up less space on the arm. It takes a lot of skill to do a heavily detailed small arm tattoo, but you can be sure that there is a great artist near you who knows how to make smaller tats look fantastic on anyone’s skin.

Images placed on the inner arm are generally immensely significant to the individual because of the closeness to the core of the body and the increased level of pain that is felt when the tattoo is being applied. Even though these tattoos are on an exposed part of the body, they are considered private since they are facing towards the owner rather than away from them. Most people get inner arm tattoos of images they want to look at when they need a little motivation.

Large sleeve pieces leave a lot of room for a complex and well-detailed theme, often focusing on significant aspects of the individual’s life experience. What’s great about a lot of these tattoos is that people are able to mash together a bunch of different design ideas they’ve had into a single arm tattoo. For example, they may want to have a big landscape with meaningful flowers, animals, and other images that work together in a single image. On top of that, it’s on the arm so they can proudly show it off whenever they want to!

Nature themes include a lot of flora and fauna and can work from the wrist up to the bicep, with the bottom of the arm serving as the base of the piece. This works well with ocean-themed pieces as well as cityscapes or city skylines. These are considered “wow” tattoos so they usually grab the attention of passersby. Of course, these tattoos can also hold plenty of meaning to their owners.

Abstract concepts that do not follow as concrete of a plan are not limited to a “bottom to top” of the arm design. In fact, these designs can have large paces between the lines or have no spaces at all. They are meant to both attract the eye and challenge onlookers. If you do plan on getting an abstract arm tattoo, it’s usually better to go with a unique idea rather than copying someone else’s tattoo since you want the design to be something no one has ever seen before.

Arm tattoos can be easily covered up, more easily if only the upper arm is done, but long sleeved shirts can hide an entirely tattooed arm as well. This is usually what people question when they are thinking about getting some kind of arm tattoo. In most cases it’s okay to have an arm tattoo regardless of how big it is, but it’s important to ask your employer about it before you get it. In some cases you will need to wear long sleeve shirts at all time, so you’ll have to factor that into the equation as well.

So, should you get a sleeve tattoo or some other type of arm tattoo? Well, that comes down to what you want to be included in the tat and how much space you want the image(s) to cover. Ask yourself whether the designs you like would work better has a sleeve, a half sleeve, a forearm tattoo, or maybe even a shoulder tattoo. Try to picture yourself with that design on your arm and you should have a good feel for what type of arm tattoo you will be getting.

Regardless of what type of arm tattoo you choose to get, you will want to spend some time going over the design before you commit to it. After you have a concept, talk to some artists and have some options before you commit. This will ensure that you will not have any regrets later on in life and you won’t need to “edit” the tattoo in any way. Of course, you can always add in some other images around the existing tattoo later on if you come up with some good ideas for it.

People are generally very proud of the tattoos they get on their arms, so there’s a small chance that you will regret yours if you take your time and think hard about the design that you want. After you do figure it out, find a great artist to work with and expect to be very happy with the design you end up getting!