Ed Hardy's "Wear Your Dreams" Book Release Today
Today is the release of Ed Hardy's memoir "Wear Your Dreams: My Life in Tattoos," written with best selling author Joel Selvin. It is not just a story about one tattooist's life. It is an ode to the art of tattooing, its philosophy, and its culture.
There have been many stories and interviews with the man who forever changed tattooing. [I've interviewed him myself for Inked mag, which you can read here.] How he would draw tattoos on neighborhood kids as a child with eyeliner. His time at the Art Institute in San Francisco, which established the fine art basis that translated into his tattoo work, and his time in Japan, which changed his whole mindset on what a tattoo can be. The first tattoo conventions. His books. His paintings. His brand. They are all in there, with so much more. However, they are pulled together in a way that makes you feel that you are immersed in a great conversation, and you walk away, not just knowing about the life of another person, but knowing a bit more about yourself.
Ed achieves this in the way he weaves tattoo philosophy within his own story. He doesn't hit you over the head with anything like, "This is what tattoos are about." In fact, he clearly states, "I don't know why people get tattoos"; but he then adds, "but I do think people get tattoos for themselves, first." And he goes on to explain his thoughts on why this is a very personal art and what it does for people. He even notes a time when a sailor came into his shop in San Diego, and Ed said to him, "Who did the fucked up eagle on you?" As he said this, Ed knew that he was wrong; that it was this sailor's favorite tattoo and he had no right to be critical. This passage was also a reminder to keep my own tattoo snobbery in check.
He also talks about "the magic" of tattooing:
Like Lyle Tuttle always says, "tattoo" is a magic word. It hits people in a way that no other visual medium does. And it is not simply visual, but visceral. Everybody has an opinion about it and everybody has a gut reaction. And because they are permanent, tattoo raise all these issues about life and death.Read more on Ed's life in "Wear Your Dreams: My Life in Tattoos."
Ed will be doing readings and book signings in New York, California and Hawaii. He kicks off the book tour today in Manhattan at 6pm at Barnes & Noble on 59 Warren Street in Tribeca. Check his full schedule here.