Melody Mitchell has been a hit on Black Ink Crew since she was first hired for the fourth season. Known for her stunning illustrations and tattoo designs, Melody says she hopes to run the tattoo industry one day.
The artist admits that she had a hard time growing up in Tampa. She says her childhood was violent and filled with a “lot of poverty.” In her introductory video for VH1, she says, “I had trouble with drugs and alcohol and even sex was a problem for me at times.”
In an interview with Inked Magazine, Melody revealed that she went to college for Fine Arts at the University of South Florida. She also took classes at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.
She apprenticed in Tampa, Florida, at Indios Tattoo Parlor, and is inspired by the work of Amanda Wachob and Jeff Gogue. Asked what advice she gives to people who want a tattoo, she says, “Be picky as fuck! And picture the piece on your entire naked body not so microscopic but on a larger scale. And I usually recommend going big.”
Melody continues, “I love anything unique and preferably organic. Plants, animals, flowers, people. I also am really into mythological creatures and nudity.”
Melody discusses herself on the ‘about me’ section of her website, focusing on the one specific day that inspired her to become a tattoo artist. She says a client came into the studio “slightly distraught”. He was older with a “combination of strength and sadness in his eyes and he came in and asked for a rose tattoo on his forearm.” Melody says she drew the tattoo and the man was silent the entire time.
“…the one thing that stood out to me so much was his energy. I could feel the tattoo healing his spirit, I could literally see him coming to terms with whatever was going on in his life and when we were finished he gave me the most sincere thanks that I had ever received. This was when I realized the power that this art form has.”
Since she started on the show, people have compared Melody to Dutchess “because [they’re] both light skin and [they’ve] got dreads.” She describes herself as being a bit quirky, but also being awkward from time to time.
Melody has an impressive 223k followers on Instagram. Most of her pictures either showcase her artwork.