As part of my bucket list I have wanted to get a full sleeve tattoo for a long time but didn’t know where to start as finding a tattoo artist you can trust but have faith in is quite hard. I started my journey knowing I would need to get a old tribal tattoo lasered off so the artist could cover it up.

I went to Monumental Ink in Colchester, Essex after seeing a Facebook Ad for tattoo removal. Whilst I was starting this process of removing the tattoo on my upper right arm I would browse through the artists portfolios whilst waiting. I was instantly drawn to both Aaron and Steve’s work in black and white realism tattoos. Aaron was fully booked for a year but as Steve was a new artist at the studio he had appointments available so I booked a consultation.

All I knew was that I didn’t want to have a conventional full sleeve tattoo that linked together. All my pieces would mean something different to me but would flow once put together. I had a list of things I wanted to Steve to include, all for different reasons:

Lion Feather Roses Peonies My Wife Las Vegas Roulette Wheel Rainbow Stars Candle Lion Tattoo

The first sitting was of the Lion. I have always had a huge fascination with Lions. When we were on Safari in Kenya I was lucky enough to see a family of Lions take down a Gazzelle. I also like the symbolic meaning of lions, as one might imagine, primarily deals with strength.

It took 7 hours in total and vast majority did not hurt. The first part at the bottom of the wrist was sore in places presumably as it is sensitive but it was the last part that was the most painful when Steve added white ink to parts that had already been tattooed.

I am so pleased with it and can’t stop looking at it!


Tattoo by Steve Toth at Monumental Ink.

You can also see more recent updates at Part 2 – Feather Tattoo and

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