The Ink Link: Marc Buhrer chasing 100 hours in the tattoo artist’s chair

The Ink Link is an ongoing project at CN&CO that showcases tattoos in the workplace. One of the great things about a tattoo is it goes against the commonly-held viewpoint that “what you see is what you get”. There’s a misguided belief in certain quarters that in order to be a working professional, it is categorically *impossible* to have a tattoo… because how can someone with a tattoo be a professional? We are putting paid to that perception through the stories showcased in the Ink Link. If you or anyone you know would like to be featured, please get in contact with us. This instalment is by CN&CO’s Blake Dyason.

I personally don’t have any tattoos and for now don’t think I will ever get one, but I am intrigued by the stories behind tattoos.

I was introduced to Marc Buhrer when Pascale and I entered Brownie-Points into the Startupbootcamp accelerator programme. Marc is a successful entrepreneur with a massive heart. He runs an organisation called Dare2Share, which supports charities that help thousands of people in need.

I knew Marc’s tattoos would have a story and couldn’t think of a better way to share it than on the CN&CO Ink Link blog.

Marc deals with people from all walks of life, from big corporates to young kids in orphanages. I wanted to know if he ever feels like people judge him or treat him differently because of his tattoos. Here’s his answer:

Before getting my first tattoo I often wondered what people would think. But after getting my first (of many) tattoos, I realised that those who wish to pass any judgement may do so. I have been questioned about my decision to have tattoos, but never treated differently.

When did your tattoo journey start?

My first tattoo, about eight years ago, was my mother’s nickname we had for her when we were children: (Anna Balecta) At the same time I tattooed my girlfriend’s ID number on my left rib cage. (We are still together after a very proud 13 years.) Both of those tattoos took about an hour.

To date I have spent 87 hours being tattooed in total and vouch to take a break at 100 hours, much to my Mother Dearest’s relief

With that said, I have only ever been tattooed by one person and I will not ever be tattooed by anyone other than Manuela Gray. She has another 13 hours to make some more magic and memories happen.

I have both my arms tattooed, the left side of my stomach, left side of my body from waist to underarm and most of my back – all proudly memorised in ink and dedicated to moments and memories that mean the world to me.

I know there is more to these tattoos than artwork. What’s next?

My next tattoo is going to be for my beautiful sister, who is the only family member I haven’t yet dedicated a piece of my skin to. I have such incredible memories of my grandparents and my parents, all of whom already form part of my “ink story”. My Sis will complete it.

This is like asking a mother if she has a favourite child, but which tattoo has the most meaning to you?

All of my tattoos mean something important to me. From the words “Be the change you wish to see, love as long as you live” to a pic of a clock set at the time I was born (12:40pm) , to my Dad’s favourite animal (a tiger), to angels who have my back, to a stairway to heaven, and many more that all have a significant meaning to me

If you could give anyone advice before getting a tattoo what would you say?

Do what is important and meaningful to you. We all have the opportunity to live a life of expression. As long as you do not intentionally offend anyone with ink on your skin, just be you and those who love and appreciate you always will, no matter what.

Thanks for sharing you tattoo journey with us Marc, keep inspiring and making a difference!

Blake brings a lot of energy, passion and heart into everything he does. He is extremely passionate about our country, it’s people and the environment. He is based in Cape Town and is happiest when he is running around exploring the beauty of the mountains.