How To Transition To A New Creative Career

NIONradio Ep. 125

Being a woman in the music scene is very different from being a man in the music scene. Playing classical violin is very different that playing rock violin. And Anna Bulbrook knows a lot about these differences.

Anna has been the violinist for Airborne Toxic Event and Edward Sharpe and Magnetic Zeros. She grew up playing the violin classically, but everything changed after college when she realized that she loved to play her instrument in a less traditional venue.

Years later, after touring with some great bands, she found a new passion: creating space for women in the world of rock and music festivals. Her new venture GirlSchool, is just that: a music festival by, for, and in support of women. Listen into this awesome episode as she talks about the life of a career musician, what it’s like being the only female in the band, and the moment that lit the spark for her latest project.


“In the process of letting that classical violinist go, I was free to be open to what it would look like for violin to be valuable in other ways.”

Some things we learn in this podcast:

  • What it’s like being a rock violinist [3:45]
  • Her band Airborne Toxic Event [5:00]
  • When she played with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros [6:55]
  • What it’s like being a woman in the rock music scene [8:20]
  • Why she started GirlSchool [9:50]
  • Who they’ve had at the festival [12:15]
  • The festival is inclusive [13:20]
  • When she started playing violin [14:30]
  • What is screamo music [16:45]
  • It all changed when she played violin behind Kanye West [21:00]
  • How playing amplified music is different [23:40]
  • How she grew into her role as a rock violinist [27:15]
  • How she learned the creative process in the rock world [28:30]
  • Learning to fail upwards [32:50]
  • The challenges of starting Girls School [34:45]
  • How Anna deals with uncertainty [38:30]
  • The importance of personal development work [43:35]
  • How she built a routine [46:15]
  • Anna’s vision for GirlSchool [48:20]
  • What issues she cares about [50:40]
  • The power of salad [51:15]
  • Anna’s advice for women [52:45]
  • What it takes to be a kind loving person [55:10]
  • What she is learning from different kinds of creativity [57:00]Links Mentioned in the Episode:
  • Listen to my episode with Quddus Philippe
  • Learn more about Camera Ready
  • Join the Nion Life Community

If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe!

Nick Onken is a photographer, author, and creative entrepreneur. In NIONradiohe dives underneath the hood and into the mind of successful creative entrepreneurs, brilliant business minds, and other highly influential personalities. Discover how to make a living with your art, create your own creative lifestyle, and push past the fears that hold you back. Listen in to get inspired and unlock you inner creative.

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