The memoir of iconic tattoo artist Ed Hardy from his beginnings in 1960s California, to leading the tattoo renaissance and building his name into a hugely lucrative international brand
"Ed Hardy" is emblazoned on everything from t-shirts and hats to perfumes and energy drinks. From LA to Japan, his colorful cross-and-bones designs and ribbon-banners have become internationally ubiquitous. But long before the fashion world discovered his iconic designs, the man behind the eponymous brand spearheaded nothing less than a cultural revolution.
In Wear Your Dreams, Ed Hardy recounts his genesis as a tattoo artist and leader in the movement to recognize tattooing as a valid and rich art form, through to the ultimate transformation of his career into a multi-billion dollar branding empire. From giving colored pencil tattoos to neighborhood kids at age ten to working with legendary artists like Sailor Jerry to learning at the feet of the masters in Japan, the book explains how this Godfather of Tattoos fomented the explosion of tattoo art and how his influence can be witnessed on everyone, from countless celebs to ink-adorned rockers to butterfly-branded, stroller-pushing moms. With over fifty different product categories, the Ed Hardy brand generates over $700 million in retail sales annually.
Vividly packaged with original Ed Hardy artwork and ideal for ink devotees and Ed Hardy aficionados alike, Wear Your Dreams is a never-before-seen look at the tattoo artist who rocked the art world and has left a permanent mark on fashion history.
Tattoo visionary Hardy has produced an engrossing memoir that serves as both a colorful guide to the history of the tattoo revival and a window on the life of an ambitious, blue-collar artist. Growing up in Corona del Mar, Calif., in the 1950s, Hardy had an unusual attraction to the disreputable world of tattooing, going so far as to mock up a tattoo parlor in the family den. A stint at the Art Institute in San Francisco immersed Hardy into the history of the fine arts and honed his approach when he finally returned to his first love: scribing images on human flesh. A career that led him to Hawaii; Vancouver, Canada; and Japan saw him both create and ride the wave of the body-art movement to international celebrity. Hardy is a thoughtful narrator whose self-education brought him into contact with central figures in both the gallery scene and the seedier environs of tattooing. He paints vivid thumbnails of characters like Sailor Jerry and Christian Audigier, as well as revealing influences as varied as pop art, custom car culture, and all things Japanese. Hardy has no shortage of anecdotes and he's not shy about copping to his mistakes. His celebrity diminishes the last quarter of the book, which recounts his openings, product lines, and European vacations, but he never loses his genial tone. Tattoo couldn't have a better spokesperson.
Bottom line, if you have a tattoo (or 100) buy this book!
This is by far one of the most riveting stories I've ever read. Its an amazing book. If you have a tattoo right now, weather its your classic americana or anything, it all started with guys like this. Ed Hardy's story is great. Read this book!