We had the good fortune of connecting with Andy Rollyson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Andy, why did you pursue a creative career?
I initially pursued an artistic path because I felt like I had so many feelings and art- photography, writing and acting- was the outlet for me to release. 

What should our readers know about your business?
I’m currently working to build a business with my dear friend, Elita Toscano. She’s one of the first people who I met when I moved to LA 15 years ago. She’s a licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist and I’m a creative who likes to solve problems. Together we are building a holistic approach to health via our brand called ACUMEND. This company, and where I’m at today, is a long way in the making. Perhaps it will sound trite, but my artistic background really is the driving force behind all of my successes. I used to love taking photos and writing for the sake of the form. Now I use those skills to build and foster business. Some people are deterred by obstacles, but obstacles trigger my creative juices. Business building is the ultimate obstacle. It’s the ultimate art project. Without my artistic ventures early in life I never would have developed the creative intelligence required for such a task. Art is all about connecting to people, and the success of any business is dependent on connecting with people too. So it’s natural that the two are symbiotic. But I haven’t always had such a positive outlook. I’ve failed so many times. More times than I’ve not. But my track record is getting better. I read this book years ago called “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell. In the book Gladwell says that some of the super successful ‘outliers’ are people that have 10,000 + hours worth of experience in their given field. Once they reach 10,000 hours their success rate increases. I’m not calling myself an outlier but I do feel that my success rate is improving with every success AND failure. One of my more interesting successes and failures include the non-profit, Hinton Hope Foundation, that I started in 2013 for my small Appalachian hometown. The goal for the organization was high. I wanted to raise $60,000 and start a whole new movement and economy in the region. While I didn’t get near that goal and the economy is still pretty bad (the failure), I did end up building a team of amazing volunteers who have created and executed dozens of inspiring community events and hope in the region (the success). One of the teams recurring events called “Hinton’s Got Talent” fosters local youth and adult artists in a yearly talent show. The event has been so successful to spur some of the artists to record their own albums and even audition for, and appear on national TV shows like The Voice and American Idol. And it all started with a tiny non-profit talent show in small town WV population 5,000. I can proudly call that successful.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My best childhood friend from WV has never been to L.A. so I would have to show her some of the touristy things first so we could get that out of the way. The touristy things include the Hollywood walk of stars to see some of the most iconic attractions like the Chinese Theatre and the Dolby and all that. Then I’d take her to 2 separate hikes- Franklin Canyon and Griffith Park. We could visit the observatory while there and knock out some killer views. Then I’d take her to the Getty in West LA. In addition to another great view she’d get to see the largest private collection of art in the world. Santa Monica Pier one evening and El Matador Beach in Malibu another evening. Both for the sunsets. Venice Beach. Downtown L.A. to the Edison for a fun, more shwanky evening out (once the pandemic is over). We’d eat and have a fun night out dancing in West Hollywood, my current neighborhood. And the botanical garden in Pasadena.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many people that deserve shout outs. My family, teachers, friends and even exes. I can’t give any specific person or group full acknowledgment because too many have been involved in my development to name just one specifically. But thanks mom and dad for making me!

Website: https://www.jamesandrewofficial.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thejamesandrew/
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/andy-rollyson-1b7a35158
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamesAndrewOfficialPage
Other: https://www.acumendpm.com/ https://www.hintonhope.com/

Image Credits
Andy Rollyson (self photo) Angie McKinney Ellison (all the logos)

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