Just because you focus on craft doesn't mean you can't also focus on "art", "personality", "voice", "creativity", etc.
For example, I was a bit skeptical about all this new paper/developer stuff. I'm not against change, but I am a fan of the whole "path of least resistence" idea, and I felt like if I was fine with printing on RC paper with LPD developer, there was really no point in trying anything else. Ha, WRONG. This assignment turned out to be a lot cooler than I thought it might be. While the contrasts between the different developers wasn't quite as dramatic as I expected, I genuinely liked seeing the differences in different paper. I like warm tone paper and how it makes me feel all nostalgic. I adore neutral tone fiber paper, and although I am terrified of the hot press and the noises it makes when it thinks no one is listening, the quality of fiber paper blows my mind. Fiber paper and RC feels to me almost like glass and plastic. They can look alike, but where one is durable (if a bit flimsy), the other is just so...nice. Neutral tone fiber is the classiest paper I know.
What's more, I liked realizing that I could use what I learned from this assignment could actually help me make more of a statement with my photography. If I want my audience to take me seriously, I'll probably use fiber over RC paper. If I want to make people feel all nostalgic, if I want them to remember things and talk about "the good ol' days", I'll use warm tone. If I'm printing photos for my friend who really liked the silly myspace picture I took of her, RC's the way to go.
Also, a bit of self evaluation: I'm pretty happy with my photos. While the one of my sister and the big hat may have slightly weird focus, and may also be a bit cliche, I still like it. There's an "air of mystery" I appreciate in a photograph. But I'm really happy with my other image. I love the focus - something I was freaking out about before, because micro-focus in digital all but ruined me. But this turned out nicely. I love the lighting. Again, I like that you can't really see her face. I like photographs that show me something by hiding something.