The Brain’s Assessment Of Art & Soulful Creation

Douglas Balmain
Apr 12 · 2 min read
Image by Douglas Balmain.

All artists, all creators, experience moments of spontaneous invention that bring about a state of total immersion; immersion in the process and act of creating, immersion in the energy and freedom of uninhibited expression.

The sub-conscious self is captivated by these moments, the evolving imagery, and the seemingly involuntary decisions made by our hands and creative minds. We have the capacity to experience a sort of unintentional, yet fully purposeful connection to the making of art. This state of creating typically inspires a strong emotional response, a feeling of connectedness between the self and the piece.

However, once the moment of creation passes, once the experiment has concluded, the conscious brain is allowed to return. Upon inspecting the results, its response is all too often discouraging.

It assesses critically, inspects for flaws with more vigilance than it does for merit—it asks, “Why?” “What is the significance?” It poses analytical questions that require an analytical response.


During this process of rational critiquing, the feeling and experience of the piece is lost. The self becomes divorced from the act—the work is suddenly made foreign, inanimate, and inadequate.

Perhaps it’s not the work that is inadequate, but rather the conscious/analytical brain’s ability to access the expression of our soulful energies that is lacking. Our works of compulsion and inspiration, the realized and unplanned creation for the sake of creation itself, must possess value beyond their post-completion critique.

How can the rational brain weigh the value that a piece brings to the creator? How can it assess the value that is created when art is allowed an uninhibited voice, allowed to speak through our energies and find release in some external medium?


Of course, this is not to say that we ought to be complacent when we create. We ought to push ourselves to learn, grow, and become more skilled in our crafts; we ought to hold our works to high and higher-still standards, pushing ourselves always to grow and become better.

But, we must not allow ourselves to be censored by our own rational self-doubts. We must not allow our analytical questionings and criticisms to suppress the works that we know—that we feel—to be legitimate and valuable expressions of our Selves.

The ineptitude of the conscious brain, its inability to access the sensations and unspoken-understandings of the unimpeded self, must not be allowed to dictate the value of artistic expression. The Self knows what the brain cannot.

Image by Douglas Balmain.

Creative Humans

A community of storytellers who are passionate about the creative process.

Douglas Balmain

Written by

Author, Essayist, Advocate for Non-Human Species, Ex-Recording Artist: http://DouglasBalmain.com

Creative Humans

A community of storytellers who are passionate about the creative process.

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