I don’t believe that there is much of a difference between graphic design and fine art. Art in any form is something that is meant to express the creator’s thoughts or feelings. The main thing that separates the two is the message that they are meant to deliver to their audience and the way they do so.
Graphic design is mostly used in advertising, and the message of an ad is usually very straightforward. The designer is representing a product or event, so he wants you to see what he is trying to say right away. On the other hand, a painting can be seen in many different ways, depending on who is looking at it, and so can be open to interpretation.
But where they are different, they also share some similarities. They both played important roles in history, and they have both evolved with the times. Before the written word, drawings were the only way to record information, so art played more than one role. Monuments such as the steles of Babylon or those in ancient Egypt and Greece relayed information through engraved words, but they could also be seen as works of art.
So no matter what the medium or the purpose of a work, art is art. Whether it is an ad or a painting, it is a source of creativity.