I was talking with a non-VO friend of mine this evening and we were talking about rates. He is also in a service-oriented industry and we were sharing our dismay at clients who only think they are paying for the end result as opposed to the process, study, equipment, etc that produces that end result. And he told me this fictional story to drive the message home:
Picasso is sitting in the park one day, painting a lovely scene with trees and the lake stretching out in front of him.
A lady approaches him, sees his beautiful artwork and exclaims "You must be Picasso! Please, sir, will you paint my portrait?"
Picasso responds, "Thank you for your kind words, ma’am, but I don’t think so. Not today."
"Oh, please sir! I must have my portrait painted by you. Of course, I’ll pay you!"
Picasso puts his canvas away, sighs and says "Ok, dear. I’ll paint your portrait."
The woman sits down while Picasso pulls out another canvas and readies his brush. He looks at the woman and paints a single stroke of paint across the canvas. He turns the canvas to the woman.
"Oh, Mr Picasso! It’s wonderful! Fantastic! You’ve captured my essence so well! I’ve never seen such a beautiful painting! How much do I owe you for that lovely work of art?"
The woman is aghast. "$2000? But all you did was make one stroke? It only took you 5 minutes?"
"Ah yes, ma’am. That is correct. And I’m only charging you $10 for the 5 minutes. The rest is for a lifetime of inspiration."