Forget Chicago, Kat is one of the most sought-after tattoo artists in the whole country. A founding artist of 9MAG, her work quickly stood out, but some felt she was more focused on her own career than the shop itself. And when things got messy between her and Ryan, she ultimately decided to bounce and take her talents to L.A.
Though he's been a fixture at 9MAG from day one, Don's personal life is far from constant. He's been through many ups and downs over the years, including past infidelities that threatened his home life. Now, after a health scare that put him in the hospital, Don is on a journey of spiritual, mental and physical growth, which includes branching out from the shop and opening his own gym.
After spending years under Ryan and his relentless management style, Charmaine broke away to start 2nd City Ink. She's a constant hustler who places a high value on family and loyalty. But recently, a falling-out with her business partner, the loss of her mother, the birth of her daughter during the pandemic and her dad's cancer diagnosis upended Charmaine's world and left her shop in jeopardy.
Phor is a man of many artistic passions. When he's not at 9MAG, he's usually focused on music, which -- like tattooing -- has always been an important outlet for his self-expression and mental health. But with a son on the way, Phor is anxious that becoming a father may mean the end of his rock-star ways.
A founding member of 9MAG, Van is now on the outs with the crew. Never feeling like he got enough credit for his role in helping build Ryan's empire, Van eventually left to start Loyal Ink with several other crew members. He later came back into the fold, but Ryan cut him loose. Now he's focused on being a dad and building up his fashion line.
As 9MAG's first receptionist and Charmaine's cousin, Danielle was a core member of the original 9MAG crew. But that didn't always make for happy times. When tensions began to grow between her and Ryan, and the rest of the crew started to fracture, Danielle had to decide whether she wanted to stay a part of the drama or focus on her sometimes-rocky relationship with Terrence.
Ryan hopes to reframe his personal and professional image after a tumultuous start to the season when his dirty laundry was aired out -- and his professional relationship with Charmaine was tested. Now, Ryan hits the reset button, which will sever old ties and bring new opportunities. After years of unhealthy back-and-forth with former partner Rachel and lots of therapy, Ryan entertains the idea of finding love once again. Apart from wanting to hit the dating scene, he is focused on the expansion of 9MAG and the elevation of his brand. As he continues to remove the toxicity of his past, he understands only one person stands in his way of glory: himself.
Ashley has been with Don ever since they met in college, but staying with him hasn't always been easy. Don's history of infidelity has tested their relationship numerous times, but Ashley has fought hard to keep their family together. However, after a major health scare, she began contemplating a move to Texas and ending things with Don once and for all.