Results tagged “Lisa Fasulo”

01:06 PM
It seems the "haters" against Lisa Fasulo's Tattoo Learning Center are doing more than just protesting via online petitions, Facebook pages, and angry YouTube videos.

According to the Daily Gazette, Fasulo claims that she has been getting death threats and the FBI is now looking into it. The article states:  "Rotterdam Police Lt. Jason Murphy characterized the threats as 'open-ended,' with many of them left on Facebook. He said no arrests are forthcoming, but police continue to investigate."

The deluge of hate mail, as many in the tattoo community know, came after the announcement that TLC would air a program featuring Fasulo called "Tattoo School." The Daily Gazette describes the show as a "documentary," but some believe that the program could be a pilot for a further series. [I contacted TLC for more information and my messages were not returned.] But TLC has responded to the backlash, according to the article:

The outrage also prompted TLC to release its own statement defending the program, which is scheduled to air again on Aug. 4. Spokeswoman Joanna Brahim defended the documentary on the learning center and pointed to TLC's history of showing different aspects of the tattoo community in its programing.

"While this method is considered controversial by some tattoo artists, including some on our air, it does exist and we chose to document it," she said in the statement. "People can come to their own conclusions."

It goes without saying that threats of harm don't do any good but peaceful protesting, like  those against the school in San Diego, can have an impact. It all comes down to real education and letting the misguided know that the schools are not the way into a life in tattooing.

Philip Barbosa has created some posters and cards like the one below to further spread the word. They will be available on his soon when it goes live. I'll be posting an update when it does.

boycott tattoo schools.jpg

02:01 PM
TLC Tattoo School.jpg
Just when you thought tattoo TV couldn't get any worse, TLC -- the braintrust behind NY Ink -- will premier "Tattoo School" next Thursday, July 14th. The show follows "award-winning" tattooer Lisa Fasulo, who runs The Tattoo Learning Center in Albany, NY, as she teaches students "from all walks of life" the craft. In two weeks. Cue the drama:

Rookie students, models risking their skin to first time body artists, a rebellious instructor and unconventional training...who will bear the drama of competition and survive?

What's even more abhorrent is the press release for the show, which includes the following:

In the United States, the majority of tattoo artists are self-taught. Pick up any of the major tattoo magazines, read the artist biographies and you will find 2 out of 3, on average, are self taught. That means experimenting with Uncle Jimmy on the kitchen table.

The rest have apprenticed under a "master".
Apprenticing falls under the category of the most widely accepted method of learning and most traditional. This avenue has it's ups and downs. If the apprentice studies under a master who is professional, talented, able to teach and medically responsible, it can be a beautiful thing.
However, apprenticeships can quickly dissolve for a variety of reasons. Apprentices often do not handle a tattoo machine in their first year. Instead, they must perform routine shop duties and "earn" their right to tattoo. One of the more common woes is if the shop closes it's doors before your apprenticeship term is fulfilled. The term "refund" does not exist in apprenticeship agreements.
In the last few years a new way to learn the art of tattooing has arrived: licensed, registered tattoo trade schools.
Many old-time artists bristle at the notion of "school" and feel that tradition should prevail in the tattoo lifestyle.

But, like it or not, tattoo schools are here to stay and gaining popularity.

Typical, "reality" promo in which there is no reality.

But many artists are fighting back. There's a petition online and Facebook pages seeking to stop the show from airing. On Alie K Tattooer's FB page, there are contacts for TLC's ethics (really?) and viewer relations departments. There's also contact information for Lisa Fasulo herself.

On her blog, Lisa Fasulo answers "the haters," but I think her "student tats" page speaks volumes more. It's not pretty.  

I'm doubtful that TLC will pull the show, but I fully support these efforts because they raise awareness about tattoo schools and their pitfalls. It's not simply about tradition. It's about health concerns, and indeed ethics, when sending people out to potentially scar others after mere weeks of training.

Over the weekend, Philip Barbosa will be putting up a site, as well as creating printed material, designed to educate people about these schools and the real "qualifications" of its graduates (among other issues). Will update this post with the link and further info.
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