They're certainly mindful, but I like to distinguish the mindfulness of meditation from the mindfulness of concentration on something specific.
When you're concentrating on something like coding or creating art, the thoughts themselves provide the framework of your mindfulness and drive your mind's focus.
When I'm meditating, I try to create that intensity of mindfulness without the framework of something specific to concentrate on. By learning to separate the focus from the things that I focus on, I feel I'm doing something more fundamental with my brain.
It helps if I clarify my approach to painting and photography, as both I do without much mental involvement, and with mindfulness.
My painting is highly abstract and very repetitive, so I am free to meditate through most of the process.
The meditative state of my photography is mostly in relation to being present in the moment, before or after my gear is set up, and I can be quite mindful while pressing the shutter release.
The final result is a distilled meditation on the moment.
I agree that any complex task makes meditation difficult.