Dongho Kim may have had to give up his soccer dreams in South Korea, but he’s found a new route to success as a tattoo artist in West Hollywood.

Kim, who goes by @dino_oriental on Instagram, was one of the country’s top soccer players, even serving as a backup for the Olympic team before a serious ankle injury derailed his sports career.

“Unfortunately, I couldn’t play soccer anymore, so I was very sad,” he said.

But where one door closes, another opens, and Kim found a new passion through YouTube: tattoo artistry, which is illegal in South Korea without a medical degree.

“Even my family and friends didn’t support me in my dream,” he said.

But after a move to Los Angeles in 2021, Kim has become an award-winning tattoo artist known for his depictions of dragons, snakes, flowers and Asian forms featuring bold colors, especially red and black.

He operates out of the 10KF Hollywood studio in West Hollywood.

Tattoo model Ashley Dinh, herself an artist, trusted Kim and another artist to collaborate on a large piece that took more than 60 hours to complete.

“He’s very ambitious … I saw their work and I just trusted them. I feel like it’s really important when you find an artist to give them artistic freedom,” Dinh said.