Thank you for your thoughts and suggestions.
I had initially looked into the ImageMagick, Cairo and SVG modules (I've spent most of my graphic design career in Adobe Illustrator so SVG isn't too far a jump). However, the Tk and SDL tools are very welcome additions to that list. At a glance, SDL seems to accomplish similar things OSX's visual programming GUI Quartz Composer does. If SDL can install successfully on OSX then that would definitely be worth doing some sketches in. Honestly they all are worth diving into — fun!
I haven't delved into golf or obfuscation — yet — but when I first learned about them as pastimes for the community it reconfirmed my belief that there were a lot of passionate, creative people using Perl.
I did remember a couple of recent examples where I got a tool based on the look and feel of it before knowing how I would put it to use.
- My matte black Fisher Space Pen :
It felt a lot like the lithographic crayons I've used in life drawing classes and has a nice weight.
- My Canon G10 :
The weight, look and feel of the camera has the spirit of a manual camera. I love not having to dig through menus for different settings.
Both of those tools have gotten plenty of use and have been responsible for inspiring and/or moving a few projects forward.