Sako Shahinian was born in 1980 in Beirut. He started to draw and experiment with artistic techniques at a young age, and was eventually recognised for his talent. This allowed him to attend Los Angeles County High School of the Arts, a public high school specialising in music, dance, theatre and visual arts, in addition to the main curriculum. This presented him with many opportunities, such as painting the main mural for the Guthrie Exhibit at the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum alongside Adam Dryden.
After graduating from high school, Shahinian went on to study at the Art Center College of Design. In 2001, whilst still studying, he illustrated Serj Tankian's poetry book "Cool Gardens", producing a range of drawings and paintings to accompany the poetry. He graduated in 2004 with a Batchelor of Fine Arts degree with Honours in Illustration. After this, he quickly became involved in graphic design, creating packaging designs and corporate identities as part of his work.
In 2005, Shahinian moved onto clothing design, and now has his own fashion line, Rapt Clothing. The designs on the clothing are all originally hand drawn and painted by Shahinian, and are beginning to be recognised by well-known clothing brands in the USA.Shahinian also runs a small design shop, Sako Designs, with an emphasis on quality and creative problem solving. He provides design, advertising, illustration, graphic and printing services. Through Sako Designs, Shahinian has worked with a diverse range of clients including System of a Down, Joss Stone, JM Tobacco and Torpedo Comics.