One day a woman happened to notice that the artist working with a sketchpad in a public place was none other than the world-famous Pablo Picasso. She begged him to draw her portrait. He agreed, worked diligently for one minute, then tore the finished piece from the sketchpad and gave it to her.
She loved it—until he told her his fee, which was an astronomical amount. She protested, saying he couldn’t possibly ask such a price when he’d taken only a minute to produce the portrait.
Picasso’s reply was something like, “But you’re wrong, madame. It took me a lifetime.”
Artists want to create art. Some of us would execute our craft for free, or even take a financial hit, for the pleasure of doing what we love. Occasionally, performing gratis for the sheer joy of performing, especially for a noble cause, is a good thing—and a great way to acquire recognition.
However, working for free on a continual basis undervalues you, the artist, and doesn’t honor all the years of training you’ve invested in developing your skills.
In the case of Mr. Picasso, his swiftly and efficiently created portrait in no way minimized the value of his expertise. It’s the value, not the time, that counts.
If you wow audiences with your extraordinary technical prowess during your two-minute performance, that brief time in no way negates the 10,000 pliés, time steps, and pirouettes you’ve done, or the countless hours, weeks, and years you’ve spent honing your craft. Proudly submit your invoice charging for your experience:
Two-minute performance: $ 1.00
A lifetime of study to develop the skills to execute said two-minute performance: $9,999.00 TOTAL $10,000.00
Remember it’s called show BUSINESS for a reason. Manage your career like a business.
Here’s another post about money mixing with passion called, Money can destroy a passion.