Is there a difference between something that looks digital but is really analog and vice versa? The former is described as photo-realism and the latter is Deep-Dream look of art processed through a neural network.
Is art better if it took longer to make even if you can't tell the difference? If it takes six months to make a digital image using a custom algorithm, printing and proofing the image, framing and so on, does it have the same impact of a photo-realist painting that took as long?
Art will always be always associated with skill using traditional materials (hopefully), but that idea might be devolving. Skill is a labile concept, and can change with time. The Steampunk movement is an attempt to perpetuate existing good technologies and skills, and blend them with new technologies, so as to ensure that they are firmly tethered to the tradition of technology. (10/2016)
If there are creative people in your family, it is most likely that you have anchors in that period, e.g. an aunt born in 1920, with her creative peak in WWII will shape your creative operandi now. If you have a creative aunt born in 1960, you may be operating from an 1980s creative mindset. Anything beyond that sphere of influence is probably inert, but still accessible. You just have to have the curiosity to want to know more about it.
Proceeding directly from A-C (or any other distant point) makes B more interesting when you return to it. Sometimes non-linear methodologies can generate more novel outcomes than would proceeding linearly.
On the metaphysics/quantum physics of art (not just decorative, but the making of objects of any kind): The art object is the quintessential "anti-dark matter", whereas digital art only viewed with backlight, has less solidity and is more permeable or protean. People are always experiencing dark matter through the narratives and interpersonal situations, through "matches made in heaven-hell" and so on, the feeling that there is some magical order of life. Art, or any activity that produces objects is (perhaps) less affected by the "spooky" dark matter. There is probably more dark matter (or invisible energy) going through us rather that the things we make, which may be the impelling reason we do it, even if only to remove the magic, and make it more empirical. But that's probably not the case, or it could simply be a matter of both the universe and ourselves are becoming mutually aware, and making things is a reminder of that.
It's happened more than a few times now when I've shared ideas and work product with collaborators, that the comments were are about something peripheral and ancillary, rather than the primary topic: Sharing a video might elicit a comment about the music, or sharing a link to a new book, a comment about the cover art, or sharing a new piece of music, about the thumbnail image. We're attracted to the bling, the pretty pics, or anything that takes 15 seconds to engage with. But something unintended surprised me when I shared a YouTube video about a custom instrument I thought was interesting. That person commented that the music was interesting.
If one listened to today's pop from the vantage of 1950, it would sound stupid and/or broken. That wasn't the future then, at least in pop music. Future music then was Henry Mancini, Perry Como and Guy Lombardo. The future is always in harsh un-patterened noise, that is continually self-fulfilling.
Futurization of music is hard to do. Bowie was great at it because he used everything with sophistication, without resorting to pastiche. This is what Miles, Sun Ra and Ornette were doing. Jazz is still the future of music because of its natural sophistication.
The past is all there waiting to be used. How do you use Mancini and deconstruct it? Would you want to? The idea of neo-big-band is kind of exciting, but the music education armatures are missing. No one would have the skill (or attention) to play it.
Musical "facadectomies" are still possible, a device borrowed from architecture where new structures are built on the base of an older structure. Up until now futures have been all "neos" or "posts". That's good too. The 90s are now up for Neo, a period where we started sampling the past. These days, everything might be Posts.
Apply a concept after (or during) the creation of the work, not before. If you put blinders on you will never see useful things on the periphery that strengthen the concept.
One of the maxims of Brian Eno is "Go to an extreme and retreat to a more useful position." Creativity, innovation and experimentation can be very interesting and fun, but can lead to extremes that are ultimately unusable.
When I engage in free-form creativity, just about anything is possible, but the real question is why, and for what purpose. Many times the purpose is to take a problem and creatively resolve it into a final product. That in itself can be satisfying, but remains unresolved in the larger picture. That's the bigger problem. If what you're doing fits in preexisting categories and series, it is easier to simply work without resolving the whys. Or the why is simply to attempt to get into a flow state, and to meditate in the doing of the work, as opposed to innovating it and not applying it.