Jami Bond (director of education)tries to intimidate the students at Forbidden School of Body Art. This intimidating behavior, I feel, is employed consciously. There have been several times where she has eavesdropped, or lurked, around the entrance of the student art lounge, listening to the private conversations of others without their consent and then suddenly pops up when she hears something she does not like. (Examples are available upon request). I understand that this is not considered illegal, but, should be considered unethical and inappropriate behavior for an educator. She also gets very upset and seems to feel threatened when the students start to socialize with each other and/or appear to be developing friendships. This is not the only thing that has made me extremely uncomfortable around Jami.
When I was just starting the tattoo program, I made the mistake of telling Jami that I was involved in the sex industry. [continued below]....
..... I usually do not talk about this with people I do not know very well, but, felt that because she was the head instructor at this school, and a female, that she would respectfully keep this to herself. One day, during my first week, I was sitting in the student art lounge along with several other students. Jami was speaking with a student about why he has not been able to bring enough of his own clients in for tattoos. At one point, during this discussion, Jami looked over at me, and with a big, goofy, grin on her face, said something along the lines of, " I bet you'll have no problem finding clients in your industry". I was in total shock that she would say something like this, especially in front of other people. I wanted to cry. Naturally, her statement sprung curiosity amongst the students as to what industry I was involved in.I felt pressured into exposing what I do outside of school to these people much sooner then I felt comfortable because of Jami.Thankfully, no one else at FSBA has tried to use this to embarrass or harass me.
My $8,000 has NOT gone to my education, but, seems to have only contributed to the wealthy lifestyles of the employees at FSBA. None of the staff members are anywhere near close to being phenomenal tattoo artists. So, when I hear them bragging about their expensive cars, houses, etc I know they can not afford these things with the money they make off of their tattoos. I, along with the other students are paying for these things instead of getting the education we paid for.
Stephanie has only had her license for about one year and is already an instructor in training. Are Instructors in Training supposed to be getting the "very generous hourly wage" that she likes to brag about? Did my money go to paying an amateur to teach me a trade that takes many years to perfect? Although I like and respect Stephanie as a human being, she is nowhere near qualified to train someone to tattoo while she is still a beginner herself. Another Instructor in Training, Aaron Bond, got his tattoo license at the end of July 2011. The first time I made a visit to the shop was in August 2011 and he was already an instructor in training! He started running around trying to teach after doing 50 tattoos?! Seriously? How is this ok? He has zero artistic/creative capabilities. I did not pay A LOT of money to have an absolutely horrible and ridiculously amateur "tattoo artist"
pretend like he knows how train me! His tattoos are so bad, I am completely confident that there is not a single tattoo shop that would hire him, yet he is teaching us. Aaron has not been at the school for the last couple months. Nobody knows why exactly, but, everyone is hoping that he does not come back. Everyone is very upset that these two have been doing the majority of the teaching. I do not know why they are referred to as "Instructors in Training." They are instructing us. As far as I know, they are not being trained to be educators.There has even been several times where students have been tattooing and not a single instructor is on the floor supervising us.
Another thing that I am absolutely furious about is that there have been times where I have not been able to finish my procedures. The last tattoo I was working on was during a very busy time at the shop.All the stations were occupied and there were walk in customers waiting in the lobby. I was taking my time on my tattoo (as someone who is just learning should). Jess and Jami seemed to have gotten impatient and didn't want to let the customers in the lobby wait any longer, as this would risk them getting impatient and spending their money at another tattoo shop (All they care about is money). Jess literally took the machine out of my hand and almost completely finished MY procedure! She then instructed me to fill in the tattoo with the liner I was already using. This causes more pain for the client and causes more trauma to the skin to do black fill with a liner. Liners are for lining! Not shading or black fill! My friends who are REAL tattoo artists were appalled that I was instructed to do this. Even Stephanie was confused as to why I was told to finish the tattoo this way. Obviously, switching out to the appropriate needle would take more time and Jess did not want me to take any longer, even if it meant using an improper tattooing technique. Money, Money, Money...
Another time, I had informed the instructors that I had to be out of school early that day. It was maybe an hour before I had to leave and someone came into the shop wanting student work. I said that, most likely, I would not be able to finish the tattoo in that amount of time, but, was pressured into doing it because I was the only student available at that time to tattoo and all this school cares about is making more money. I didn't finish the tattoo, but, nobody seemed to care. They already had the client's money so who cares how embarrassing this was for me or that I didn't get to finish. That client will probably never come back to get his tattoo finished by me and it wont count towards my 50 completed procedures, but, they got his money and that's all that matters.
Jami also guaranteed that the students at Forbidden were all able to continue tattooing at FSBA after getting licensed and that this was the only tattoo school that offered this "graduate program." This is her sales pitch when interviewing potential students. Jami has let in so many students (more student equals more money) that there isn't enough room in the shop to let everyone stay and has not been letting everyone who gets licensed into the graduate program. I am always checking the school website for changes and someone just RECENTLY put on there that it is not guaranteed that every student gets into the graduate program. Unbelievable. That is one of the main reasons I chose this school over others. Isn't this consumer fraud?
Almost every student has voiced their frustration with this program, but, thinks there is nothing they can do about it and are fearful that if they voice any complaints to Jami or Jess , that they will be kicked out (apparently, they have a reputation for doing this to anyone who acts less then stoked to be in this joke of a program). I wish I could share other student's horror stories, but, it is not my place. I think the best way to describe being a student at Forbidden Body Art is somewhat parallell to being a sweatshop worker: working long hours for little pay (or in this case, no pay), being subjected to abuse without feeling like there is any way to protect ourselves.
Forbidden is not a tattoo school. It is a tattoo factory. FSBA uses us as if we are just here to pump out as many tattoos as fast as we can in order to make the staff more money. The student have basically paid A LOT of money just to make the school more money!
This type of pressure on students effects the quality of our work. This has made me extremely nervous during tattoo procedures. During the last one, my hand could not stop shaking because the instructors were making me feel so nervous and rushed. This is why I am not physically capable to tattoo at this time. I almost had a nervous breakdown. I did not sign up to make Forbidden Body Art more money.
I made the effort to resolve this issue locally by requesting that I speak with Jessica Vann since most of my issues are about Jami. Jami has refused to give me Jess' contact info and tried to tell me that I am not allowed to speak with Jess alone.
I signed up to be trained in the art of tattooing. I have not received this training. My $8,000 has gone to absolutely nothing. Please help!!!