Saturday, December 26, 2009


As of late, I've been on this tattoo kick. Always fascinated, ever intimated, I've admired and ogled this particular form of self-expression from afar. But always short of cash and courage, I never could commit...til now. After months of extensive research on local parlors and artists in San Diego, I've finally settled on Rob Benavides  at Flying Panther Studios  in Golden Hills.

Rob is a tattoo artist and self-taught painter from San Antonio, Texas. His distinct style and wonderful eye for color (I think) separate him from other tattoo artists in the area, and most definitely caught my attention from the get-go. His online portfolio was very impressive. But, being the cautious kitten, I held off, researching tattoo parlor after tattoo parlor. A few things I look for when researching a tattoo artist/parlor:

  1. Website or online portfolio with samples of work. Hello, it's the 21st century and technology is tantamount to the success of any artist/business/etc. You might be a great artist, but if you don't have an up to date portfolio that uses current technology (ergo an understanding of the importance of trends when marketing your business), you're not gonna impress me. In fact, I'd think you to be a bit lazy. Not good.
  2. Cleanliness- do I really need to explain this one?
  3. A style/aesthetic that reflects your own personal taste- Very important. Every tattoo artist will interpret your idea differently. This is permanent, so finding someone who can take that idea out of your head and and translate it into something you love is crucial.
  4. Professional Demeanor: Don't be a douche. As tattooing becomes more mainstream, an even broader range of folks will be wandering in. These people will potentially be paying your bills and helping your business grow. Emphasis on the word, 'business'.
Things I don't take into consideration:
  1. Cost: Folks, please don't look for a cheap artist. You get what you pay for- and remember, it's permanent.
  2. Reputation: Something to be considered, but upon my research, I came across dozens of folks who swore by their own artists. Most of the time, I simply didn't like the style of the artist. Everyone's taste is different, so to go to an artist because someone else likes their work isn't enough. If you're as picky as I am, do the footwork. 

 All things considered, I kept coming back to this particular artist. My instincts were pretty solid, so today, I went in for a consultation.

I walked in and was immediately greeted by pleasant incense wafting in the air. It's a small studio, but well lit, with high ceilings and a very pleasant decor. I was immediately pleased with the cleanliness of the place. I was greeted warmly, by a fellow working on a patron. I informed him of my appointment and he directed me to Rob. Rob was working on a fellow, but asked to take a 5 min. break to speak with me about my design. Awesome.

We chatted about styles, what I was looking for, brass tacks. I showed him my inspiration board:


I felt completely at ease with Rob. He liked my idea and agreed that his style would complement the aesthetic I was looking for. So, I put down a deposit and booked an appointment for this Monday.
Needless to say, I'm ridiculously excited.

Pictures soon to come...

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