The Cost of Creative Work

There's a great story about Pablo Picasso. Some guy told Picasso he'd pay him to draw a picture on a napkin. Picasso whipped out a pen and banged out a sketch, handed it to the guy, and said, "One million dollars, please."

"A million dollars?" the guy exclaimed. "That only took you thirty seconds!"

"Yes," said Picasso. "But it took me fifty years to learn how to draw that in thirty seconds."

People often gripe1 about the high cost of creative work2 because they have no framework for what makes quality work.

What makes a quality design or a good photo?  Is "beauty in the eye of the beholder"? Or is there an objective way to judge art?


Here's a funny video on vendor/client relationships:

1 If people aren't gawking at your rates, you aren't charging enough.

2Graphic design, web development, motion graphics, photography, etc.