Why the rise in popularity? How did they start and who are the original tattoo artists that brought these bold, bright tattoo designs to us?

If you follow tattooing back to the first part of the century, you will find a few incredibly talented, wonderfully colorful characters. Top among these fine characters is "Sailor Jerry". Story goes, Sailor Jerry began his career traveling around the country on freight trains and tattooing the drifters. He joined the Navy at 19 and sailed the Pacific. If you look at Sailor Jerry's artwork, you can see the influence of Southeast Asia. Sailor Jerry's images have bold deep outlines, bold blocks of color, and large, oversized images

Don Ed Hardy, on the other hand, exploded his popularity and brought Old School Tattoo designs to the main stream by licensing his artwork to Christian Audigier. Ed Hardy Designs was formed and Christian Audigier began incorporating the artwork into fashion. This was the first time tattoo design and tattoo artwork has made it to the runways of Paris, New York and Italy. Ed Hardy artwork and tattoo design could now be seen on Rock Stars and Celebrities alike. The Beautiful Old School Tattoo Designs were now part of mainstream culture and highly sought after.