Monday, March 3, 2014

Asymmetric vs. Symmetric

                                                                                                                              by Kelli Pope

Asymmetry.   HUH?     Definition, please. 

symmetry:  a balanced, pleasing, or suitable arrangement of parts.
(synonyms - balance, coherence, consonance, proportion, unity)

asymmetrical  : having two sides or halves that are not the same: not symmetrical  (synonyms - discordance, disproportion, disunity, imbalance, incoherence, confusion)                                                                                                      
When I started creating jewelry, I wanted to make it artsy and interesting.  Never once did I think to myself, "is this asymmetrical or symmetrical?  I think I want it to be discordant, disproportionate, incoherent and confused."   I would think....  Does it flow? Is it interesting?  Is it balanced?    Is it pleasing to the eye?   If the answer was yes, I was happy.    More often than not, my friend Julie would say, "it's not even".  While making a piece once, my brother in law told me, "it doesn't match".  
Asymmetrical earrings leave my sister saying, "that would make me crazy".     What I discovered, and what makes our own Mary Ann cringe, and get white-knuckled, is that some people need things to be even. Orderly.  Symmetrical.  Straight.  Aligned. (Julie of course, has a little OCD, but don't tell her I said so ;o).   My brother in law is an engineer, need I say more?)   We're all just wired a little differently.  And what is pleasing to some is NOT pleasing to others.  So, does that mean all asymmetric designs are "imbalanced", "confused", "incoherent", "kooky" (maybe) or not pleasing?  No. Does it mean that a uniform strand of beads is always pleasing?  No.  Just depends on who's looking at them. 
No right or wrong, just different points of view.
A special order I once received was for a strand of  large, handmade, orange ceramic beads. Nothing else. All the same shape, size and color. When it was finished, I wasn't happy. To me, it was crying out for something. Anything!  But I toughed it out, (white-knuckled it, Mary Ann, yes I did) and I left it alone.  She loved it! 

Beauty truly IS in the eye of the Beholder!

This is the beauty of art. This is why artists get to do what they do. Don't copy others, create your own art, your own vision. Create your own beauty, symmetric or asymmetric.  There is a beholder out there who is going to LOVE IT!!   

 Do you prefer symmetry or asymmetry?   

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