IF YOU ENJOY looking at all the dataviz out there – not so much for the sometimes dubious content, but rather find the aesthetics of it pleasing – then look no further.
The Russian art director Tatiana Plakhova makes probably the most beautiful visualizations, I have seen. And they don’t mean a thing … none! (Except what you decide to put into them)
At least they aren’t build on any dataset – it’s pure eye-candy. Or you can call it Art.
Tatiana Plakhova constructs these pieces by hand in Illustrator and Photoshop. In other words – she comes clean with the desire to make art and wonderful patterns and doesn’t mask it in some strange idea of ‘Visualizing twitter-activity in Central Park mondays between 8 and 11 am’. (Example made up, but you can easily find worse, if you visit the normal visualisation-showoff-sites)
It’s quite funny then, that her work is showcased in many collections of beautiful data-visualization (here is one) where her work is placed next to the work of Ben Fry, NY Times etc. – even if she never attempted to show data, and she uses none of the viz-programs like processing or R to obtain her results.
This tells a bit on how shallow the public understanding of the pretty patterns normally is.
I also like the fact, that she is really succesful in doing these illustrations. My guess is that she makes a better living than a lot of dataviz’ers – and she doesn’t have to fiddle all night with the code to make it behave. She can just draw, whatever she wants. Her client-list include some of the big names out there, Wired, MIT. Even Playboy has used her illustrations. They probably heard someone talking about sexy visualizations and figured they needed to show some …
Here is a video of her work titled ‘Visual Science':
And you can go to her website complexitygraphics.com for a huge collection of her work