I tend to lean in SOS's direction while tipping a hat to the truth, Steve, that our experience of creating art is for most artists also part of the fulfillment. I should not speak for SOS, but I don't think he would disagree. The leap is that satisfaction and fulfillment can be had during the process regardless of the medium used. If oil paints disappeared, we'll take pleasure in the process of making art with flyswatters and bean paste. If that is all that is available to me, OK, let's get busy.

I think this translates to creativity and productive labor in most endeavors for engaged people, not just the arts. Bricklayers, accountants, and pasty chefs can share the same fulfillments in both the creative and production aspects of their labor.

It is, of course, always different strokes for different folks. It seems one of the good things about the human spirit is that if their particular stroke (let's say oils or watercolors) just isn't around any more, people will find something else or invent something new to work with. The possibilities for fulfillment in a work process in life are not limited to the availability of water colors. I guess I can say I've had quite a few burger joints that I loved that went out of business. It was sad for day I must admit. But man, I've found some other really terrific joints that are even better. I might never have ventured into them if Bobby's Burgers around the corner had not burnt to the ground. In retrospect, the best thing that ever happened was that place went up in flames.

Chinapete, thanks so much for reminding us to broaden our perspective. Your points in this conversation seem particularly relevant. I love your idea of the Turing Test for a digital calligraphy tool. The way you describe it, it maps exactly (yes?) for the two criteria outlined above for the Holy Grail of a digital painting tool whose goal is to mimic natural media. I lean to the case that it is the correct criteria, while reiterating there doesn't seem to be a long term cultural demand for it. There is only an interim one for those nostalgic for their current tools wishing to seem them embodied in the new rather than made obsolete. As digital tools evolve to do most anything, and current generations pass on, the new tools will prevail while buggy whips will only be found in museums. Even whole cultures will morph to something else as our global connectedness transforms and integrates Western and Eastern cultures into something entirely new and unpredictable. Most likely the artistic expressions that come forth will be richer for it. If I could have a wish fulfilled, it is to be around a century from now to see how it unfolded.