Ceaser is the owner and creator of the Black Ink brand. Born and raised in the Bronx, Ceaser's desire to better his life for himself and his daughter Cheyenne outweighed the pull of the streets… and in a twist of fate, Black Ink was born.He has two shops in Harlem, but Ceaser is set on turning his business into an empire. He continues to fulfill his ambition to take over the nation and have 10 Black Ink shops up and running by 2021. After facing his demons and making amends with the people from his past, Ceaser looks ahead toward leaving a legacy for his daughter. With the stress of his businesses weighing him down, Ceaser brings on Puma to help run 113th, thus giving him extra time to concentrate on family and becoming the father he's always wanted to be. Will his decision work out or will bringing back ghosts from his past be the biggest mistake he's ever made?
Sky is Black Ink's quick-witted and fiery manager. Born and raised in Harlem, Sky brings the "real" to the shop. She isn't afraid to speak the truth, and though it sometimes causes her trouble, what Sky brings to the table is always genuine. Though she's spent the better part of the last year working on improving her family, Sky continues to challenge herself to become a better woman, a better mother and an entrepreneur. With half of her focus in Miami growing her brand and Her Little Secret Boutique, Sky continues to run Black Ink's HR. With all that's on her plate, Sky worries that all she's done to bring the family together will fall apart when her sons start spending more time together and Des moves in with his older brother.
Donna's dream was to work at Black Ink, so this Cleveland-born girl packed her bags and said goodbye to the Midwest. After many ups and downs between her and Ceaser, the two have finally come to a mutual respect and understanding. Donna is back working at Black Ink while supporting Alex through his recovery with his back injury. Even though she's back in the fold at Black Ink, will there be peace or will old grudges with Ted and Ceaser rise to the surface?
Puma has fully taken over Black Ink 113th, bringing back the old flare to the shop. He's redecorated the waiting room, updated the old stations and has decided to bring in new artists. Things couldn't be better for Ceaser as Puma takes the lead with the shop. Although Puma thinks he's doing a great job, some of the Black Ink veterans feel differently, as does his wife Quani, who can't get on board with Puma's reentry to Black Ink. Will Puma be able to get everyone back on track or will the crew fall back on the same patterns of their past?
Young Bae moved to New York City in 2007, leaving behind an abusive father and a difficult home life in Seoul, South Korea. With only $73 to her name, she made ends meet by taking any job that came her way -- and eventually used her street smarts and charm to land a job as a tattoo artist, despite never having tattooed in her life. Now, after becoming a successful artist, wife and new mother to baby Niko, things have begun to get tumultuous for Young Bae and hubby Rob -- having a one-year-old while trying to pay the bills has caused a rift between them. Will this be the end for Bae and Rob?
Ted, born and raised in the Bronx, first came to Black Ink when he was trying to distance himself from life on the streets. Since then, he's always kept an eye out for his cousin, Ceaser. Ted's role at Black Ink has increased over the years, from shop manager to VP of operations -- and now, president. Not only does Ted do the hiring and firing at Black Ink, but he continues to get involved with his female co-workers. After his relationship with Tati goes south, Ted has to work with another ex at the shop. When Ted pursues new love interests, will Tati become the cool ex-girlfriend or someone who brings the drama?
Walt has been a mainstay at Black Ink from the very beginning and has continued to prove his loyalty to Ceaser and the Black Ink brand. Though often caught in the middle of shop feuds, Walt attempts to keep the peace between his friends. He's come a long way since his rough childhood growing up in the Bronx: Walt finally has his own place, he has a good relationship with his kids and things seem to be taking a turn for the better. With a blossoming new relationship, Walt has taken a much healthier approach to life and has decided to put himself and his family first. But his new hobby soon gets in the way of his duties at the shop, which doesn't sit well with the crew. Can Walt balance both or is he ready to build a future of his own?
Miss Kitty, Black Ink's brand ambassador, is a D.C. native. She is as blunt as they come -- and when things don't go her way, she's not one to back down. Miss Kitty is more focused than ever on bringing celebrity clientele to the shop, but when some health issues arise in her family, Kit must suddenly head to D.C. Can Kit keep it together, or will this be the thing that breaks her? And will the shop be able to survive without her help?
Alex is one of the best tattoo artists in Brooklyn. But as Donna works her way back into Black Ink, he struggles with his future in the industry. While he does his best to keep up with rehabilitation, Alex strives to recover from his back injury. Though he's finally made amends with Ceaser, Alex still has trust issues with his former co-workers. He isn't sure Donna working in the shop is a good idea -- but he's finally ready to take the next step in their relationship. How will Alex fare when Donna brings him to Cleveland to meet the rest of her family?
After struggling with relationships with her co-workers, Tati has implemented a new Zen personality. She and Donna are clicking, she's on good terms with Ted and Tokie is no longer at the shop. Krystal and Tati seem to be working well together, and Tati is no longer looked at as the bad guy. But things take a sharp turn when Tati runs into some trouble with the law. Will it totally discredit Tati among her co-workers? Now that she's turned over a new leaf, who will be there to support her in her time of need?
The brains and talent are back! After a rocky start at Black Ink, Krystal has made amends with the ladies of the shop. Hailing from the Bronx, Krystal is seriously skilled at tattooing. She's also been secretly working on pursuing her dreams of becoming a rapper and getting signed to a major label. While trying to concentrate on herself, Krystal gets caught looking for love in all the wrong places. Will she be able to balance work and her personal life without losing herself?
Quani is Puma's wife. Quani recently returned to New York City, after a few months away in Atlanta, where she went to get a break from the drama surrounding her and Puma's lives in New York. Since the opening of Art2Ink, Quani and their three-year old daughter, Tamia, have moved back to be with Puma and to support him as he embarks on his new adventure.
Quani has become a career woman, and spends her time juggling motherhood and a full time job. Quani's mother, Denise, is a huge part of their lives. She and Puma have overcome their differences and now work together to help care for Puma while Quani is at work.
One thing's for sure, wherever the artist formerly known as O' S**t goes, trouble is sure to follow. Whether breaking up fights with his baby mamas, or being in the wrong place at the wrong time, O'S**t's life is always interesting.
Born in the Bronx and raised in New York and South Carolina, O' S**t is a former college athlete, who tore his ACL early in his college sports career. His injury ended his football career and he turned to his love of artwork. For O' S**t, tattooing is all about the art. He has been by Ceaser's side since the beginning, as a co-worker, and as a friend.
O' S**t's struggle with substance abuse has been a tough one for him, but after getting sober in California and meeting the love of his life there, Nikki, O'S**t has a new outlook on life and a new name—Richard.
Born and raised in Tampa, FL, Melody moved to New York to fulfill her dream of being a successful artist in the big city. She got even more than she hoped for when she met the love of her life Lalo and had a son. Melody's eclectic personality draws in all sorts of clients, from drag queens to the girl next door. While her artistic style is realistic, her tattoos often express spiritual themes that serve as sources of strength for her clients. She brings a fresh perspective to the crew, and she isn't afraid to say what everyone else is thinking.
Melody’s art continues to thrive, and her son is growing up beautifully, but Melody still feels incomplete. Questioning her own roots, she sets out to find the family she never knew -- not just for herself, but for her son. Melody knows it takes a village to raise a child, but her family’s past isn’t all good. They’ve disowned her mother already, but Melody hopes that years have softened them. Will she be the one to bring generations together? Or will she find out the hard way that what you want isn’t always what you need?
Jadah Blue is the life of the party, but cross her the wrong way, and she will put up a fight- after all, she is a former boxer.
When Jadah enters a room, she has heads turning, and by the time she leaves, without a doubt everyone knows who she is.
Jadah has a spitfire personality, and is quick to put everyone in their place. Don't mess with this firecracker, she has no shame confronting anyone who gives her attitude.
Tokie is a new addition to the shop and recently moved to New York from Houston. Tokie is bubbly, hard-working and wants nothing more than to become a tattoo apprentice. After seeing her body paint art skills, Ceaser determines that she might be able to tattoo one day, but for now, the shop needs a receptionist more than anything. Tokie must prove herself to Ceaser and the crew before moving up the ladder.
Seasons 5 + 6
Raised in Dallas Texas, Kevin recently moved to New York to fulfill a lifetime goal of being a tattoo artist in NYC. With five brothers and sisters, Kevin always looked for ways to stand out. In high school, Kevin made his clothes to separate himself from the crowd and eventually enrolled at the Art Institute in Dallas where he majored in fashion design but left the program when a friend of his asked him to give him a tattoo one night, and after that, Kevin never looked back.
Kevin brings a fresh swag to Black Ink with his signature photorealism style and loves the tattoo medium because his clients "wear" his art. Don't confuse Kevin's southwest charm for being slow-paced because Kevin is always ready to turn up and join the party!
Born and raised down the block from Black Ink, Sassy is a neighborhood girl who walks the walk, and talks the talk. Whether it is modeling for Urban Ink Magazine, or helping out backstage at a fashion show, Sassy's style and magnetic energy draw people her way.
Sassy quit Black Ink a while back, and though she tried to remain neutral, her loyalty lies with Puma. Sassy made the move with Puma over to Art2Ink, and has continued to play a role in the development of the new business, as their Manager.
Dutchess is a Southern Belle, a Daddy's girl, and a force to be reckoned with. Since graduating at the top of her class and earning a business degree, Dutchess has been taking the world by storm. Whether it's a modeling gig in Paris, or tattooing celebrity clientele, Dutchess always has her eye on the prize.
Dutchess is engaged to Black Ink boss Ceaser, she recently made some boss moves of her own by opening the tattoo shop, Pretty in Ink, in her hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. Splitting time between North Carolina and New York has been challenging for Dutchess, but she's committed to making it—and her relationship—work.
Tiffany Perez was born and raised in Paterson, NJ and started tattooing at the age of 21 after her father bought her a tattoo gun for her birthday. Dutchess prevented Tiffany from previously working at Black Ink, but now she's back and ready to prove she deserves to be on staff.
Having worked for many years in the male-dominated tattoo industry, Tiffany has learned how to go after what she wants and isn't afraid to go toe to toe with the guys in the shop—or the females in the shop, for that matter.
A Domincan-American raised in the Bronx, Kathie is a writer, painter and advocate for meditation and self-enlightenment. She is dedicated to her son, Achilles and is unafraid to stand up to Achilles' father, O'Sh*t to make sure he keeps up with his daddy duties. Kathie is currently teaching self-awareness and healing through various eastern spirituality practices such as meditation, yoga and the manifestation of intention.
Naeem is one of Puma's new artists at Art2Ink. A veteran in the tattoo world, Naeem's reputation proceeds him. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Naeem specializes in realism and portraits.
Naeem is close friends with Puma's other new artist, Phoenix, and despite the rivalry between Art2Ink and Black Ink, Naeem and Phoenix maintain a good relationship with the Black Ink Crew as well.
Naeem has an 8 month old daughter with his girlfriend, Alexis. His daughter changed his life, and now all of Naeem's focus is on providing a better life for his child. Naeem is dedicated to his craft and strives to be the best tattoo artist in the game.
Phoenix is one of Art2Ink's new artists. Raised in the streets of Brooklyn, Phoenix had a rough childhood, constantly moving from home to home. Despite his tumultuous past, Phoenix was inspired to pursue a more legit career in tattooing after the birth of his daughter. Phoenix is a great father to five children…three girls and two boys. He aims to show them the childhood he never had.
Phoenix is laid back and easy-going. He and Naeem have known one another for five years. Before coming to Art2Ink, Phoenix worked at a shop called Inktastic in Brooklyn. Phoenix has had to overcome several obstacles throughout his life but he continues to persevere and work towards the best life for him and his family.
Seasons 1 + 2
As the former receptionist of Black Ink, Alex brought that "fire" to the shop. This little firecracker is of Dominica decent and is proud of it, as she has "Dominican Blood" tattooed across her chest.
Alex has an opinion about everything which is why she and Ceaser were constantly butting heads when it came to Alex's strong artistic opinions.
As a side hustle, Alex models in various publications and has graced the cover of both Inked and Urban Ink.