We had the good fortune of connecting with Joan Avant and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joan, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Before having kids, I thought I was busy. Little did I know ha! Well after having kids, I’ve had to prioritize the tasks of life while simultaneously being a creator and entrepreneur. My first business which is running a violin studio. It is something I’ve done before kids and continue to do today. My second business started as of late which is running my own record label as a recording artist. In being a music creator, I was able to start chipping away at this after my youngest child started school. I would write and record while the kids were at school. Then in the afternoon I would help my kids with their schoolwork. Then, later in the afternoon, I would start teaching violin lessons. It’s a busy life, but I’m able to be with my family and do the work I feel I was meant to do. Where there is a will there is a way!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
In response to my recording artist gig, I write songs in a style called Victorian Gothic Symphonic Rock. In a nutshell my songs have a mashup of classical and hard rock styles that lyrically engage in historical and fantasy subjects. I love the history of the Victorian Period and the Belle Epoque. I want my listener to feel like they are in the middle of Baz Luhrmann’s movie “Moulin Rouge!” I want them to have an otherworldly anachronistic auditory immersion experience. I am not in a band. All of the music is performed and recorded and mixed by me. My background in music has long been mixed. I went to music school and studied “classically” and majored in the academic side of music history and theory. However I would often play drums, and guitar in little bands while in college. I believe you can hear this “warring” of styles in my music. I enjoy sharing knowledge of music making with my students, but I also am in love with creating music. They are two very different experiences. I am one album in, my debut album is called “Drown Ophelia.” I am “over-the-hill” with my second album. (That means most of the songs are written!) I’m super stoked to release this album once it’s done. It’s got a lot of new sounds, ideas, and stories I can’t wait to share.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If you are going to grab a drink… “The Cock n Bull” in Lakewood is an cozy English style pub to relax. If you need a good Texas restaurant experience, I don’t think you can beat Tex-Mex. We love Manny’s Uptown (either the Uptown or Lakewood spots) I practically live at Half-Priced books… the big one… the Flagship store on Northwest Hwy When Rock Shows start up again, I love venues such as Trees or The Bombshell Factory
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?
My husband Michael Rossi deserves a shoutout! With my violin business it’s practical support. We in a sense pass the baton in the afternoon. I begin to teach and he cares for the kids. Then for my recording artist side of the business, the support is more emotional. I toggle back and forth between confidence in my work to delving into the depths of self-doubt. I’ve heard many other artists say the same thing. So I don’t think I invented artistic mood swings ha! My husband also helps me be my second set of ears when a song is a work in progress. I trust his input and intuitions. It’s important every recording artist have a person who can give reliable feedback… all of it.. the good the bad and the ugly. He is the unsung hero in my story. I couldn’t do this without him!
Other: www.joansviolinlessons.com www.redmasquerecords.com
First picture (the sofa pic) by Jamie Maldonado