For more than 20 years, Alan Robert has been the bassist and primary songwriter for Life of Agony, a hard rock act that cultivated a fervent following while touring with the likes of mega acts Black Sabbath and Tool.

That career alone would be the envy of most young artists and musicians looking to make a mark. Yet the Brooklyn-born Robert, 45, hasn’t limited himself to music during his time in the chaotic world of heavy metal and rock ‘n’ roll.

He carved out other niches for himself in other creative fields: He’s written and drawn comic books and graphic novels such as “Killogy” and “Crawl to Me.” Last year, he dove into the adult coloring book trend with “The Beauty of Horror.” It turned out to be such a success for Robert and publisher IDW that a sequel, “The Beauty of Horror 2,” is slated to go on sale Tuesday, Sept. 19. (Robert says a third volume could be coming if all goes well with part two.)

While Robert himself isn’t a household name, his career is a testament to the hustle, dexterity, dedication and shrewdness that goes into a successful career in the arts. Recently Robert shared with CNBC some of the biggest professional and financial lessons he’s learned over the years:

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