Part Two: Who Are You Doing it For?

An ASBX blog post by guest blogger Wesley Broome. See her bio below, and stay tuned for Part Three. (Here’s Part One.)

In the early days of the pandemic, I tried to distract myself with any number of online art  challenges, including the 100 Day Project. The premise of this challenge is to do one thing  consistently for one hundred days, art-related or not. My goal was to create and post a drawing  on Instagram each day. It was a lofty attempt at improving my craft while staving off the mind numbing oppression of the pandemic. 

Twenty days into the 100 Day Project, my plan failed. I had become obsessed with the numbers.  Why were some posts getting more feedback than others? The process of art making had become  agonizing, and I rarely liked the results. A tiny voice somewhere in my mind was saying, “Wait,  isn’t this supposed to be fun?” 

It only occurred to me later why the process had become so miserable. Instead of focusing on my  own enjoyment of the craft, I was too worried about making what I thought others wanted to see.  This was a big mistake. It wasn’t fun anymore, which was a huge red flag that my approach was  fundamentally wrong.  

I began to ask myself what I would create if no one would see it but me. This shifted my entire  perspective. When I thought of making art for an audience of one, I was more in alignment with  what I actually wanted to make. Freed from outside influences, my true goals and desires became  clearer. I was no longer letting the expectations of others dictate what I created.  

Sometimes, we have to check our motivations behind making art. Do you do it because it comes  pouring out of you no matter what? Or do the perceived notions of what is “good” or “popular”  drive your work? We have to strike a balance between the two, remembering that our work is to  fulfill an inner need. If our work is truthful, then it will resonate with others on a deep level. 

In “So You Want to Be a Writer,” Charles Bukowski writes, 

“if it doesn’t come bursting out of you 

in spite of everything, 

don’t do it. 

unless it comes unasked out of your 

heart and your mind and your mouth 

and your gut, 

don’t do it.” 

When it’s time to share your work, you’ll be able to do it from a healthier, more secure place,  knowing that you’ve already done your job by being true to yourself. 

Wesley Broome

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

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, Jesus Pancake, 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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Jesus Pancake

Jesus Pancake is the newest scripted audio fiction series from Artist Soapbox. Nine episodes of zany dark comedy.

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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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