A Brief Overview of Visual Arts
The most common and accepted examples of visual arts are pictures, drawings, paintings, photographs, print making, film, video, mosaic, tapestry or even collage but this list is by no means comprehensive as it only deals with images in a 2 dimensional format.
In the broader context anything that has been presented with a visual quality could be described as visual arts. This could incorporate 3 dimensional objects such as sculpture or visual adornment applied to 3 dimensional objects for example tattoos, designs printed or painted onto fabrics.
Visual design in and of itself also falls into the category of visual arts so car design, fashion or commercial packaging all fall into the category of visual arts but these often incorporate other knowledge and skills beyond that of a 2 dimensional nature. Anything that relies heavily on its visual quality for creating a visual impact and is visual in its nature will most probably fall easily into the category of visual arts.
Reading for its most part is a visual activity except in extreme circumstances such as blindness where it is a tactile activity that enables people to read by touching, reading and writing are not visual arts but text layout, lettering or graffiti are.
A write up about the functions, features or technical specifications of a digital camera would not fall into a visual arts category but a description of the effects created when these are used could be, so the line can sometimes be less easily definable. If you combined a write up of both features and functions with a description of the effects created when these are used it would be more difficult to define because it could fall into a number of categories at the same time.
My personal view on this is simple everything around me I see is visual so if I take those visual components and transform them into something that is visual in essence or of a visual nature or anyone else does this it incorporates visual language. Although text is a visual language it is predefined so the text its self carries a predefined message where as visual art can mean many different things to many different people because it is heavily influenced by culture.
Some may not ever consider it as being visual art at all and will often say it is a pile of rubbish, in my world they do anyway and truth is stranger than fiction I say.
Here's some of my rubbish, take a look you might be surprised.