This is a similar kind of question to that I've been asking myself for a long time. I believe there is often a dichotomy between hi-tech and low-tech that divides form of practice, people's tastes, and even school curriculums. I wasn't sure which of two I should side on, (I felt that both groups of people were often disapproving of each other) until recently when I started programming, and found out this was something I wanted to do.
And I very much agree with how the author closed his essay. I believe newer tools should be harnessed by more finesse. An unconditional endorsement of established tastes and rules bares some risk of falling into mannerism. And a careless collection of "novel" expressions often has a low signal-to-noise ratio, or seems to have wasted good resource. I think, by staying self-critical at the same time as being inventive and progressive, one could achieve both first and last word art.