Wear Your Dreams: My Life in Tattoos by Ed HardyThe 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.
Don Ed Hardy: The Tattoo Artist Behind the Clothing Brand
Joe Rosato Jr. Tattoo artist Ed Hardy looks at one of his paintings inside his San Francisco studio. Photo credit: Joe Rosato Jr. Influenced by classic military tattoos, Hardy took the art to new places through his lifelong fascination with Japanese tattooing and images. He eschewed attending grad school at Yale in favor of a career in tattooing and enjoyed a celebrated year run at his San Francisco shop Tattoo City before retiring from tattooing eight years ago. Along the way he revolutionized the profession, not by imposing his designs on customers but rather encouraging them to bring in their own ideas, which allowed him to aim toward a higher art form through his tattooing.
Hardy is best known for his tattoo work and his eponymous apparel and accessories brand Ed Hardy. Hardy was born in in Costa Mesa, California. Hardy was a student of Sailor Jerry Collins and, through his association, was able to study tattooing in Japan in with the Japanese classical tattoo master Horihide. Under this marque, they began publishing the five-book series Tattootime. Today, Hardy is retired from tattooing. In the early s, Hardy licensed his brand, and it is now found on a wide variety of products.
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Ed Hardy has become one of the most iconic names in both the tattoo and fashion worlds, with many of his tattoos appearing on people around the world, as well as a successful fragrance and clothing line. After his father left when Ed was six years old, he was raised by his mother. She was very attentive and supportive of his dreams and hobbies. Ed began drawing at a very young age, and became fascinated with tattoos at 10 years old. The boys would visit the local post office and look at the criminals in the wanted posters mounted on the walls to gain inspiration for their tattoo designs.