Inspiration for Artists and the Game of Chance

For most Artists – whether Painters, Poets, Screenwriters or Novelists – there is often an element of Chance in the development of the work. A roll of the dice can lead to inspiration. A Writer stumbles upon an intriguing road sign on a dusty lane, a Painter spills paint on a new canvas that falls in exactly the right way, a Poet – straining for the best word to complete a poem – looks out the cloudy window of a train in Paris and sees the name of a new coffee company that fits the bill exactly right. I remember reading years ago how the great and smooth lounge singer Bobby Darin got his name. Darin…is a very mellifluous name for a singer born into an Italian family with a very complicated trisyllabic last name. As I recall, He was en route to an audition somewhere on a rainy night in New York City, rolls down the window of his taxi…   …And sees a local Chinese restaurant whose proper name was MANDARIN DUCK!   But… apparently the first few letters of the neon sign had conked out. So all that Mr. Bobby saw was DARIN.   He immediately sees the ‘light’ and as this name spoke to him – unannounced and unpremeditated – he jumped on it, and forever after was Bobby Darin! The Dadaists The Dadaist Artists in the early part of the 20th century played with elements of chance, in Paris and other parts of Europe. They would drop bits of paper on to a flat plane and where they landed is where they stayed. Dadaist Artists liked to find random...