You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
The most obvious and important one is a negative consequence: creative self-indulgence. Nikki Hilton designs expensive handbags (which is still, admittedly, a more admirable way of spending a life than the one her sister models). There is a reason most product and service ideas in the world are created for and by rich or middle-class people for their own classes. The turpentine effect is far more prevalent than its utility requires. There is a limit to how many people can be absorbed in safe and socially-useful turpentine-effect activities like tool-building or teaching. Let loose where a content-focus, artistic eyes and judgment are needed, it leads to over-engineered monstrosities, products nobody wants or needs, and a massive waste of resources. Focusing on the problems of others, rather than your own (or of your own class), requires even more effort.
The positive effects are harder to see, but they are important. The turpentine effect is how isolated creatives can get together and form creative communities that help refine and evolve a discipline, sometimes over centuries, and take it much further than any individual can. Socially, this emerges as the aesthetic of classicism in any field of craft.
The artistic eye is also what you need to make design decisions that are not constrained by the tools. A complete absence of artistic instincts leads to an extreme lack of judgment. In a Seinfeld episode, Jerry gets massively frustrated with a skilled but thoroughly inartistic carpenter whom he has hired to remodel his kitchen. The carpenter entirely lacks judgment and keeps referring every minor decision to Jerry. Finally Jerry screams in frustration and tells him to do whatever, and just stop bothering him. The result: the carpenter produces an absolute nightmare of a kitchen. In Wonderboys, (a movie based on a Michael Chabon novel) the writer/professor character played by Michael Douglas tells his students that a good writer must make decisions. But he himself completely fails to do so, and his book turns into an unreadable, technically-perfect, 1000-page monster. No artistic decisions usually means doing everything rather than doing nothing. Artists mainly decide what not to do.
I think the turpentine effect is caused by — and I am treading on dangerous territory here — the lack of a truly artistic eye in the domain defined by a given tool (so it is ironic that it was Picasso who came up with the line). Interesting art arises out of a combination of refined skills and a peculiar, highly original way of looking at the world through that skill. If you have the eye without the skills, you become an idiosyncratic eccentric who is never taken seriously. If you have the skills without the eye, you become susceptible to the turpentine effect. The artistic eye is innate and requires no real refinement. In fact, the more you learn, the more the eye is blinded. The adult artistic eye is largely a matter of protecting a childlike way of seeing, but coupling it to an adult way of processing what you see. And to turn it into value, you need a second coupling to a skill that translates your unique way of seeing into unique ways of creating.