HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Like many others, Ed Hardy came here for the surf, but now it's all about his art and I was surprised to find out he lives in my neighborhood.
Would you believe me if I told you that one of the most famous tattoo artists in the world lives in Honolulu?
Well, it's true. Ed Hardy splits his time between here and San Francisco. He's in town again for a one man art show at the Robyn Buntin Gallery, but he's not showing tattoos.
He said, "This is like my therapy art. This stuff I do in my studio. Hey if people like it, that's cool, but I do it because I enjoy doing it. I just try to convey things that interest me and I try to make things that have a bit of mystery to me. My ideas just come out of the ether. I start working on something without a big plan see what develops. Keeps it exciting."
Ed made a name for himself tattooing people but in 2004 that same artwork launched a clothing line.
The brand is an international phenomenon. There are seventy Ed Hardy stores across the world, ringing up millions in sales, and no one's more surprised by its success than the artist himself.
He expressed, "Christian Audigier came after the master license in '05 and said 'I'll make this a huge international thing' and I was like oh yeah right whatever. And he did it. A lot of people didn't even know there was a real person doing that, they thought maybe I'm like Aunt Jemima or something, just this invented thing."
No he's real alright, and he loves Hawaii. "To me the main spirit of Hawaii is the environment, the air the light the clouds the ocean. It's really special," he told me.
So don't be surprised if you see Ed around town. Who knows? You might even get an autograph.