In a post called, “Data Visualization and Data Art Continuum” the author quotes Stephen Few, a highly regarded data visualization expert:
“There is a distinction between data visualization (“the goal that data be visualized in a way that leads to understanding”) and data art (“visualizations of data that seek primarily to entertain or produce an aesthetic experience”).”
What he means is that there is a difference between eye candy infographics that are not conveying insights – and visualizing data. There is a tension between art/graphic design skills and visualization of ideas, insights, and concepts. He comes to the conclusion that: “There is no data visualization without graphic design and no data art without data.” I think there is a subtle distinction between “visual thinking” and drawing skills. Visualization of data requires visual thinking to be meaningful and you don’t need to be Picasso to be a good visual thinker and share your ideas in a drawing.