Simon Halpern is a tattoo artist, focused on geometric ornamental tattoos, who’s made a name for himself in the industry through his unique style and dedication to the craft!
Before he became a successful tattoo artist, though, he had to go through the rigorous process that most do – an apprenticeship.
Join us as we take a closer look into Simon’s apprenticeship story, from the initial rejection to the ultimate success and as we find out the tips he has for the beginners out there!
Being stubborn might just be the trait you need
Simon’s apprenticeship-landing story is kind of funny.
He went in the shop he wanted to learn in and simply asked. Well, as most wannabe apprentices do in the beginning, Simon got rejected and turned away.
Luckily, he refused to let rejection hold him back and proved his worth. He kept on showing up and eventually helped the owners with building a tattoo shop, so, he ended up doing six to seven months of free construction labor.
Once the shop owners realized Simon wasn’t going anywhere, they decided to take him on and show him the ropes of the tattoo industry and craft.
Before the apprenticeship
He told us he definitely did draw before that, but he also did a lot of other jobs before Simon decided to go for his dreams.
His dad was a typical ‘’Get a real job!” type of parent, one that most of us have experienced. So, he actually went to
University, not for art, graduated and worked jobs in the area he studied for.
Luckily, he realized tattooing was his true calling, so he got himself the apprenticeship.
That apprenticeship lasted 3 years and Simon saw it as going back to school and to be fair,… that’s essentially what an apprenticeship is.
Perseverance will get you where u need to be
When asked if Simon himself would like to be a mentor and take on an apprentice, he told us he’s definitely open for it… BUT it has to be the right person.
He learned from two different people, Doug Wheeler and Vincent. For him, they’re like family members, because they gave him his shot and pretty much his livelihood. Whenever he can, he also still pays them a visit.
This is what Simon wants too and what he’s looking for in a potential apprentice. He believes in the old-school apprenticeship style, so he’s definitely looking for a person who will respect him the way he still respects his own mentors.
This said, the tip he shared with us for apprentice wannabe’s is: be dedicated to art and to tattooing.
Simon says (haha): ‘’You pretty much have to live at the shop… Get ready to be broke for like three years and you probably want to break up with your girlfriend, because like you’re not gonna see her ever.’’
So, if there’s one thing you guys should remember from this is – be dedicated and be ready to make some sacrifices. This job isn’t one that will make you rich, at least not for a while. If you’re in it for the money, you might want to rethink your career choice. If you’re fully dedicated to art and tattooing however, persevere and you’ll find your way!
What do u guys think about Simon’s apprenticeship story? For any apprentices reading this, what’s your story? We’d love to read about it, so, don’t be shy…