JM’s comment on my post about geometric designs, concerning symmetry intrigued me.
Many of us feel that our body art should be balanced. That is, if we have a certain number of tattoos on the right side, we should have an equal number on the left.
Thus, after getting my first tattoo over my right collarbone, I got the second on the inside of my left ankle. Then I got another over my left shoulderblade. My original intention was to get a fourth tattoo on the outside of my right leg, but you know how life sometimes interferes with your best-laid plans.
I see the balance as right/left, inside/outside. None of my tattoos even slightly resemble each other, although the tattoos over my collarbone and over my shoulderblade cover approximately the same area. I added on to the tattoo on my left ankle, making it much bigger than it started out, and I would have balanced that with a fairly large design on the right.
But I had an unplesant reaction to the red ink in the “upgrade” on my ankle tattoo, so I have put further ink on hold for a while. It still feels as though I should get one more to achieve that balance.
Now, in my mind, balance and symmetry are entirely different concepts. One can have balanced designs that are not symmetrical, and symmetrical designs that are not balanced. Put a gorgeous mirror-image artwork on your right hip and leave it at that, and you’re not balanced.
I admit my view on the matter is somewhat quirky. Some people feel that in order to be balanced the artwork has to be pretty much the same on both sides. Some people feel the subject matter has to be either the same or closely related. Some see balance only as symmetry and require the artwork to be symmetrical across the center line, wherever it’s placed.
What are your views on symmetry and balance? Did you make an effort to achieve one or the other or both when you got your ink? I’d be interested to hear how we all feel about this.