Part One: Validating our Hobbies

An ASBX blog post by guest blogger Wesley Broome. See her bio below, and stay tuned for Part Two and Part Three.

Part One: Validating our Hobbies

My artistic practice goes through phases. One day I’m determined to write a novel, and the next  I’m convinced that I was meant to study animation. This can be maddening; I feel tossed about  by the tides of my momentary fixations. There is just so much to explore and learn, and the  possibilities can be overwhelming. 

If you’re like me, you may take comfort in the fact that many artists are not confined to one  medium. Many writers are also visual artists. Filmmakers frequently adapt works of literature to  the big screen. Sometimes an artist even finds inspiration outside of art; Anton Chekhov  famously said, “Medicine is my lawful wife, and literature is my mistress.” 

Everything we do can feed our craft. If you see yourself primarily as a writer, then drawing or  painting may be an outlet for you to express your ideas visually. These works do not have to be  “good.” What is important is that it helps you, and is an enjoyable part of your creative process.  

On a sudden whim that I was really meant to be a comic artist, I enrolled in an illustration class  taught by an artist I admire. I struggled through the class. As it turns out, works of art do not  spontaneously arise from a brilliant mind, fully formed. They take a lot of research, planning,  and practice. Faced with mistake after mistake, there were points at which I considered giving up  altogether. 

Yet I began to notice lessons from the class carrying over into my writing. I saw the scribbled  half-sentences in my notebooks as sketches or first drafts, the beginnings of an idea not yet fully  formed. Sometimes we think everything we create has to be perfect on the first try. But when we  see a work of art that we admire, we forget the countless drafts and hours of practice that the  artist put into it.  

The best thing I learned from my deep dive into drawing was that I am not meant to be a  professional illustrator. For me, drawing is a hobby that can feed my writing practice. Sometimes  we need a break from our main craft. When we work with our hands, or put together a new outfit,  or try out some tentative dance moves, the unconscious is free to run amok in the background,  bringing forth new ideas that send us running for our notebooks.  

Above all else, do what you enjoy and explore what you think you might enjoy. Your other  interests can help inform your primary artistic practice. They are not a waste of time. Whether  these hobbies are art-related or not, they can still help inform your artistic practice in ways you  may never have expected.


Wesley Broome is a writer, photographer, and filmmaker based in North Carolina. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and received the Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artist Award for filmmaking in 2018. In between film gigs, she works as a freelance writer for publications across the Southeast.

More of her work can be found on her website: www.wesleybroome.com

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Artist Soapbox

Artist Soapbox is a platform for original scripted audio fiction and an opportunity for artists to discuss their creative work in their own voices. We do this through our interview podcast, our blog, and original audio dramas.

Artist Soapbox is an anti-racist organization. We believe Black Lives Matter. In addition, as a podcast production company, ASBX has signed the Equality in Audio Pact on Broccoli Content.

Artist Soapbox is more than just a podcast.

We lead writers groups, accountability support, workshops, and events. We produce and create audio dramas too! Listen to the Master BuilderThe New Colossus Audio Drama, Declaration of Love, and ASBX Shorts. Stay tuned to hear about more projects written by the Soapbox Audio Collective Writers’ Group.

Audio Dramas

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The New Colossus

The New Colossus Audio Drama is a totally unhinged dark comedy reboot of Anton Chekhov’s classic play, THE SEAGULL.

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Master Builder

This audio drama was adapted from Tamara’s 2018 stage play produced by Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern and inspired by Henrick Ibsen’s classic, The Master Builder published in 1892.

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Declaration of Love

Co-producers Aurelia Belfield and Tamara Kissane of Artist Soapbox commissioned eleven NC playwrights to craft short audio scenes based on the prompt “Declaration of Love.”

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ASBX Shorts

ASBX Shorts are six short audio fiction pieces created and produced by North Carolina artists. Artist Soapbox Shorts were specifically contributed by the artists to aid in fundraising and to get everyone excited about Jesus Pancake, our new audio fiction series in development.

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