Tattoo DesignSource:- Google.com.pk
Ed Hardy’s Tattoo City
Among hundreds of places to “get inked” in the Bay Area, Ed Hardy’s Tattoo City in North Beach is a standout, for its early entree into custom-designed tattooing and its owner’s bold, colorful style, which can be seen on T-shirts and hats worldwide as well as on human flesh. Mr. Hardy, 66, now retired from tattooing, lives in the neighborhood and visits the shop almost daily. LOUISE RAFKIN
ONE OF A KIND
Throughout his childhood in Newport Beach, Mr. Hardy drew tattoo-like images with liquid eyeliner on himself and his pals. In 1974, Mr. Hardy, a graduate of San Francisco Art Institute, opened the city’s first studio where customers could get tailor-made images.
A BOW TO THE PAST
Hand-drawn pictures called flash, displayed to spark creativity for both patrons and artists, line the shop’s walls. Originally a carnival term, the word harks back to tattoos’ origins.
The bright storefront is a former candy store; during Prohibition, wine was sold from the basement. Now there are other site considerations: The shop’s artists will not place a customer’s first tattoo in a highly visible spot, like the neck or face.
BUT IS IT ART?
In 2004, Mr. Hardy licensed his designs to an international marketer. The branded merchandise has been enormously successful; around $500 million of Ed Hardy goods are sold annually in places like Romania, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. “Not everyone needs a tattoo,” said Mr. Hardy, who now concentrates on fine art, painting and printmaking on inanimate canvases.
On “The Dick Cavett Show” in 1970, Janis Joplin talked up her Lyle Tuttle tattoos. Many say this began the trend for women. These days, tattoos are common. A 2010 Pew Research Center survey found that 38 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 had tattoos.
IN AND OUT
Currently, owls are in as a tattoo image; finger mustaches are out. Tribal patterns, introduced in the late 1970s by Leo Zulueta with Mr. Hardy, have mostly retreated to their island origins.
Tattoos often commemorate drama: love, death and significant life changes. Mr. Hardy met his future wife 38 years ago when she asked for a Japanese-design back tattoo. Her portrait is now on his left leg.