Rob Benavides was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. Seeing tattoos around the heavily working class city instilled a love for the look and image of tattoos. Hanging around tattoo shops whenever he wasn’t kicked out, his main goal became to get tattoed himself. Seeing the early work of hometown heroes Shawn Degan and Chris Trevino on friends put an inkling in his brains about what custom tattooing could really be. Leaving home and moving to Austin as a teen exposed Rob to even more possibilities.
The following year saw Rob move to Chicago, where he eventually settled into a grueling but life-changing apprenticeship with Chi city’s infamous Fat Joe Scapin. In 1996 he moved to San Diego, CA. He was again blessed with the next in a string of lucky breaks when he entered into the employ of his greatest influence and mentor, tattoo legend Fip Buchanan. Working side-by-side with Fip over the next ten years, Rob honed his skills and set to work mastering the trade of classic street shop and custom tattooing. He also began to travel frequently, becoming a regular guest artist at iconic tattoo shops such as Tattoo City, Iron Age, Perfection, Tiger Rose, Mr. Lucky’s , Sinner and The Saint, and with his good friend Masato in Nygoya, Japan.
On Cinco de Mayo, 2006, Rob opened Flying Panther tattoos in the historic neighborhood of Golden Hill near downtown San Diego California. Now running at full steam, Flying Panther Tattoos is San Diego’s premier custom and classic tattoo shop. The shop specializes in large scale western and Japanese traditional style tattooing, but can customize any tattoo to your liking. Appointments are first come, first served, so make it in soon!