This post originally appeared on The Lab NYC

The Lab NYC’s Arthur Kade got a chance to meet with artist and designer Ed Hardy. Hardy tells us about his amazing journey to commercial success and discusses his book “Wear Your Dreams”. Ed starts off by showing how humble he is, saying “it’s been an amazing ride and It’s like The Twilight Zone“. Hardy first came from a fine art background but says how his tattoo obsession snowballed into commercial fame for his artwork and led to the emergence of the brand Ed Hardy. Hardy first discovered he wanted to be a tattoo artist as a young boy growing up in the 1950’s, when tattoos were still taboo. He tells us how he pioneered in tattoo artistry during the 60’s and 70’s, when Vietnam was occurring and America was changing. “I think its something central to our species…I thought if people are gonna do this they should have it be really well done, have good sanitary conditions, so it was a long thing, I tatted thousands of service guys before I opened a private shop and than it builded”.

When asked about his thoughts on others trying to build their name around his work , he says “that’s not going to be done. I try to take a laid-back attitude but I’m adamant about the integrity of my work”.

Hardy goes on to talk to us about Sailor Jerry, who was known as the greatest tattoo artist in the world. saying his work was beyond anything that anyone was doing at a time when there were such few tattoo artist in the world. Hardy says Sailor Jerry’s work with the colors and the sophistication of the imagery had a push of Japanese artwork. For more on Ed Hardy pick up his book “Wear Your Dreams” and check out the documentary “Ed Hardy Tattoo the World”.

Ed says that tattoos are powerful and if it makes people feel better about themselves then that is great. When asked about the amount of tattoo artist that exist today as well as people in pop culture that have tattoos, Hardy says he never dreamed that tattoos would become so mainstream and popular. Ed tells us how his dream of making one of a kind pieces came true at a time when no one else had done this.

Ed Hardy In The Lab with @ArthurKade

Ed Hardy on Vimeo