Black Ink Chicago Star Van Johnson Appearance in Season 9

Season 9 of Black Ink Crew: New York has delivered on its promise of a variety of surprises. In the course of filming, the crew has had to deal with relationship issues, shop disputes, and even cameo appearances from former employees — we’re looking at you, Sassy!

Tattoo artists from other cities frequently appear on Black Ink Crew: New York because the cast is the original. As a matter of fact, Ceaser makes it a point to maintain long-term relationships with tattoo artists who have appeared in the series. Since Van Johnson is a familiar face from Black Ink Chicago, his appearance in Season 9 comes as no surprise.

Van Johnson left ‘Black Ink Crew: Chicago’

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In Black Ink Chicago, Van Johnson is a well-known character. From Season 1 to Season 6, Van, a member of the 9Mag tattoo crew, was a constant presence on the show. Van’s relationship with shop owner Ryan Henry quickly deteriorated.

When Black Ink Crew: Chicago first began, Van, called Ryan “manipulative” and said that he let his fame get the better of him, pushing those who cared about him to the side.

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Van visited the Black Ink Crew: Brooklyn headquarters in the exclusive clip to see how the crew was doing. That’s why, when Van asked about Walt and Donna, Ted told him about Walt stealing from the store and Donna creating strife among the crew members. Ted inquired about Van’s relationship with the 9Mag team as a result of this development.

“So that relationship over there with them is over with 1000 percent?” Ted asks Van.

“Sometimes when you’re moving forward in life, you ain’t got no time to take steps back [sic],” Van says to Ted. “ So, it is what it is.”

In his confessional, Van explains the history of 9Mag and why he is no longer a member of the team.

So, I’m like one of the fathers of and OG’s of 9Mag. Six years ago when we created that company, it was a good thing. After all the bulls–t and six years later, I decided that I had enough and it was time to continue my life.

For those who have been absent, Ryan and Van had a number of near-fights at the shop because of Ryan’s management style. They attempted to meet, but there was too much commotion for that.

Ceaser Emanuel and Van Johnson have formed the Black Ink Crew: Houston

Van has the demeanor and work ethic of a true leader. Even though things didn’t go as planned in Chicago, Van is now in a better situation.

When asked what he wanted to do with his life, Van said, “I still wanted to be a tattoo artist in my own way.” As a result, he decided to move on and form Black Ink Crew: Houston with Ceaser.


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The partnership between Van and Ceaser appears to be going very well. For the first time in history, Van was able to ink the likes of Houston’s hip-hop royalty. Van and Ceaser seem to be getting along well in Houston, according to the adage that everything happens for a reason. As a result, we’ll continue to send our best wishes to both of them.