Henry Rollins on Entrepreneurial Art

henry rollins

Henry Rollins is a musician, author, actor, KCRW radio host, and entrepreneur. He’s a creative machine. But what’s his process? What are some of the things that inspire him to do the work?

“I’ll take half the paycheck to have the artistic freedom.”

For one, he does ALL the work. He calls up the local press to schedule interviews to promote his show. He masters the final albums. He hustles. He may delegate here and there but he owns the process.

“You have to be an artist lawyer you have to be an artist engineer.”

For two, Rollins doesn’t make stuff for the material goods. He wants to make money so he can make the next thing. If you’re working for the material goods, you’ll burn out. People that stick around just “love what they’re doing and they would do it for free.” They want to get better.

“I just don’t want stuff. I just want to make stuff. I buy notebooks and pens so I can write more.”

Thirdly, Rollins encourages creators to be honest about their art if they want it to be a means of survival. Art is a business, “there’s fiscal realities..put your art out there but don’t end up on the street because of it.” Artists aim to appeal fans that got them where they are in the first place. You don’t want to endorse any projects that go against your core artistic beliefs.

“It’s your sincerity and dedication that lead to your sustainability.”

And lastly, Rollings encourages people to make art now because the Internet allows you to create for a curious tribe.

“You live in the best possible age to be an entrepreneur and be eclectic.”

Listen to Unemployable with Brian Clark: Henry Rollins on Entrepreneurial Art

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.