Ceaser, born and bred in the Bronx, spent his troubled youth in the New York City projects. It wasn’t until his daughter Cheyenne was born that his desire to make something better of himself outweighed the pull of streets. Armed with nothing but his tattoo gun and his determination, Ceaser relocated to Harlem where it all truly began. Before long, Black Ink was born.
Endless trials and tribulations, failures and triumphs, two cities, and three shops later, Ceaser has grown his success into an empire, and he’s expanding. His most recent shop, located in Atlanta, is up and running, and now he’s ready to go even bigger in New Orleans. But with his daughter growing up and his crew focusing more on pleasure than business, can Ceaser fit another tattoo shop on his plate?
As he embarks on this new endeavor, Ceaser will have to face fights, firings and hirings, and breakups and makeups. Rivals and old enemies will resurface and test his resolve. Will New Orleans mean another victory under Ceaser’s belt? Or will all the odds stacked against him bring his empire to its knees?
Sky is Black Ink’s quick-witted and fiery manager -- and as the brand grows, so does Sky’s desire to be a better woman. Born and raised in Harlem, Sky brings the “real” to Black Ink. Unafraid to tell it like it is, her candidness often gets her in trouble, but her fierce loyalty to Ceaser makes her an irreplaceable part of his growing empire.
Sky has spent the better part of the last year working to improve herself, both inside and out, and she’s far from done. Her relationship with her youngest son Dessalines is steadily evolving, and she’s excited to spend even more time with him. But when Des reveals his own plan for the future, Sky is faced with the reality that she may lose her son as quickly as she got him back.
Suddenly Sky is questioning her future as a mother, especially as she contemplates reconciling with her oldest son Genesis once and for all. With one son slipping away and another just out of her reach, will Sky’s family ever be complete?
Donna’s dream was always to work at Black Ink, so this Cleveland-born bombshell packed her bags and said goodbye to the Midwest (and her twin sister) to work her way into Black Ink. Getting her start as an apprentice, she’s worked her way up the ranks to earn the coveted role of Tattoo Artist. But she isn’t done moving up just yet.
It’s been a rocky road to maturity for the 25-year-old. After working her feminine charms on many men (and women) at Black Ink, Donna is finally coming into her own -- and she's taken interest in fellow Black Ink artist Alex. Following a particularly rough breakup with her ex Moe, Donna wants to take it slow this time around, but before long, her whirlwind romance turns into full-blown love.
Donna and Alex spend more time together, steadily working out the kinks of their relationship, but soon Alex begins taking Donna away from her work and distracting her from the job she’s worked so hard for. Will this new love stand in the way of Donna’s blooming career? Or will the two become Black Ink’s new power couple?
Ted, raised in the Bronx alongside his cousin Ceaser, first came to Black Ink to distance himself from life on the streets. Despite his close bond with Ceaser, Ted maintains a troubled relationship with his family. As his mother’s only remaining son who is not incarcerated, Ted is fighting to get his brother out of prison while doing all he can to keep himself out of trouble as well. Using his style and business sense, Ted works tirelessly to ensure that his brother gets a fair trial after being held without bail for over four years.
Moving up from Shop Manager to VP of Operations, Ted continues to climb the ranks in Black Ink. However, Ted has a habit of standing in his own way, especially when women are involved. As an innocent flirtation begins to bloom into something real, he struggles to leave his past of indiscretions behind him.
Can Ted keep his focus? Or will his constant involvement with his female co-workers be his ultimate downfall?
Walt has been a loyal member of the Black Ink crew since the very beginning, and he never fails to bring the comedy to the daily routine at the shop. However, under his smiles and hilarity, Walt has his demons, but he’s determined not to let them get the best of him. A devoted father of three struggling with sobriety, Walt was forced to send his children away. Now, feeling lost and incomplete without them, he has vowed to get his act together and get his kids back once and for all.
When Walt isn’t holding down Black Ink and his team, he’s focusing on his true passion: photography. He’s come a long way from his rough childhood in the Bronx, and all he wants is to give his own kids the childhood he never had. With Ceaser’s new shop in New Orleans opening up, Walt has a real opportunity to step up. But will his talent and creativity be enough to get his kids back with him where they belong? Or will the temptations of the Big Easy get the best of him first?
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?
Young Bae moved to New York City in 2007, leaving behind an abusive father and a difficult life in Seoul, South Korea. With only $73 to her name, she made ends meet by taking any job that came her way. But it was her street smarts and talent that eventually landed her the job as a tattoo artist, and despite never having tattooed in her life, Young Bae rose to the occasion. While many unwittingly underestimate her, they quickly learn that she is not to be messed with. She's vivacious and vocal, and she has the talent to back it up. Now engaged and pregnant, Bae is about to find out what it’s like to have a family of her own.
Will motherhood be what it takes to finally get Bae to say, “I do”? Or will this new phase of her life prove to be the one barrier that Bae can’t break?
Miss Kitty is Ceaser's Brand Ambassador for the Black Ink shop on 125th. This DC native is more than just a pretty face; she is a refined socialite and uses her superb social skills to bring in the high-end and celebrity clientele. Still, don't let her polished facade fool you. Miss Kitty isn't afraid to tell it like it is—and when things don't go her way, she has a hard time biting her tongue.
Alex, aka the Vagina Slayer, is one of the best tattoo artists in Brooklyn. He works hard, and plays even harder, but sometimes his partying ways get the best of him. The Vagina Slayer is an ink star, and enjoys his celeb status on the streets and in the clubs. He loves to have a good time, and brings the party with him wherever he goes. He may be great at his job, but he's easily distracted, especially when there are other women around.
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.
After proving herself at Black Ink as the assistant manager, Tati is excited for the opportunity to help open the new shop in New Orleans. Focused on work, she maintains a strict no-fraternizing policy amongst the crew, and she isn’t quiet about her disapproval regarding the inappropriate relations between colleagues. However, after her troubles with Jadah in Miami, Tati finds herself growing closer to Ted, and before she knows it, she’s tempted to break her own rule. Ted has a history with almost every woman in the shop, and Tati is completely against mixing business and pleasure. But not even she can deny the chemistry between them. Will she put aside her personal conviction and risk it all for Ted?
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.
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!
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.
Puma is Black Ink's ex-PR guy and Ceaser's greatest rival. After leaving Black Ink, Puma opened a rival tattoo shop on the other side of Harlem. This "betrayal" cost his friendship with Ceaser, and the two have never quite moved past it.
After a rough year, Puma is on the up and up. Though 124 has since closed down, Puma is reopening a new shop, "Art2Ink." With new artists and a new location in Harlem, Art2Ink is set to be Puma's most successful venture yet.
Puma and his wife are the proud parents of three-year-old Tamia, who is the apple of Puma's eye. Though Puma's childhood wasn't always easy, he wants to give the world to Tamia, who is, through and through, a daddy's girl.
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.
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.
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.