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Tales of Covent Garden: Oliver Sweeney

Welcome to the next feature in our on-going content called Tales of Covent Garden! Each month, Covent Garden will be bringing you exclusive interviews of the people who live, work and love Covent Garden. Next, is the Tattooist-in-Chief of Oliver Sweeney, Sarah Cooper.

Who are you, where do you work and what do you do?

I am Sarah Cooper and I am the Tattooist-in-Chief at Oliver Sweeney on Henrietta Street. I tattoo leather with the same tattoo gun that’s used on skin.

How long have you been doing this sort of work?

I actually developed the leather tattoo for Oliver Sweeney six years ago. It’s very similar to tattooing skin but the process is different, gentle with less pressure. It is becoming more popular every year and I have done 100s of tattoos.

How long have you worked in Covent Garden?

I’ve worked in Covent Garden for three years. I started doing some pop-up tattooing events with Oliver Sweeney and they were so popular that I’ve become a regular fixture in their Henrietta Street flagship!

What is your favourite thing about Covent Garden?

I love the variety, there are so many interesting and eccentric people around. It’s a really happy place with lots of people dressed up and there’s always lots going on.

Tell us a story about Covent Garden?

Jane Austen actually used to live upstairs! I just love the history this place has.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve tattooed on leather?

The weirdest has to be a renaissance painting of Narcissus, swathed in a red robe looking at his reflection in the lake on one shoe and on the other two pet pugs with a massive flower pot. Another strange one was a man that wanted a tattoo of his father in golf gear with his prosthetic leg showing with the date of when he lost the leg! You dream it, I can tattoo it!

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