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 that 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.

The latest ink link blog is by CN&CO team member Neo Matsei. The tattoo in question belongs to well known insurance industry member and Insurance Institute of the Western Cape (IIWC) councillor, James Peters. Neo has had the pleasure of working with different clients since she started working at CN&CO and IIWC is one of the accounts she handles. She discovered a beautiful picture of James Peters’ tattoo on social media and wanted to know the story behind it – which James shares with us below… 

I have always been a fan of tattoos and what they represent – their story, their art and visual appeal. I am really into art and beautiful things. I appreciate quality drawings and paintings and therefore also appreciate the art that we can display on our bodies. There is no doubt in my mind, though, that I also like them because of their edginess and the fact that they are not commonplace (although that is changing). They definitely do not represent mainstream and I think that does appeal to me as well. They are able to tell so much and remind us of so much and also have the win-win of being able to accentuate your body and appearance

I had wanted a tattoo for a long time but felt that I didn’t just want a tattoo for the visual appeal (despite my previous statement). I appreciate all the reasons for getting inked but for me, it had to have a wider meaning.

About 10 years ago my wife and I decided we were going to try to have children and like most others I didn’t for one second think it would be anything other than a choice, but this was not the case. For a variety of reasons we struggled to have children and we embarked on what would become a six-year journey of highs and extreme lows as we tried to make our dream a reality.

Along the way my wife endured many hormone treatments and we tried multiple artificial inseminations and none were successful. We got pregnant once quite early in the journey but lost our child at 13 weeks, which was also incredibly traumatic.

Eventually we were blessed with our first child, a little boy, six years after we began trying – and it is for this reason that I got my first tattoo. I wanted to get something to remind me of the journey and struggle that we had been on, something that would be there forever to remind me to appreciate what we had and to never give up the faith and belief that things will happen. There were many times that we thought we wouldn’t have children, but we just had to keep believing – hence the word “believe” that I had inscribed, along with my son’s name on my arm

We have been blessed since then to have a daughter as well and I am now planning my second piece for her – likely to be a half sleeve and shoulder / chest piece

I definitely do not believe that tattoos are just for the alternates in our society. They are a beautiful way to represent our beliefs and history, and they should be appreciated no matter what walk of life you are from.