Recently I've read a lot of commentary against the use of flourishes as decorative elements in artwork and collage. I'd like to weigh in on the subject and add my 2¢ worth, because I feel that it's expressly un-artistic to discriminate against any design element, ever. It's just wrong.
You don't have to like flourishes, and if you don't like them, don't use them. If you think they're over-used, don't use them. If you hate looking at them, turn away. Or resolve to tolerate them.
Because the absolute truth is that the story of art is one of inclusiveness. It will never suit everyone always, and sometimes it may even suit no one. But the expression is always valid.
I personally applaud the use of the flourish. Even the name itself. To flourish is to thrive: To be fully present, alive, and in a state of excellence. How appropriate. It is the state of being that one is borne up to in the creative process.
And with that said, in practice, I use the flourish sparingly, and usually not at all. But in the midst of every drawing, every book I bind, and every collage, there's always a flourish in my heart. As cliché as that may sound, it's the truth.