Picasso’s “Dove of Peace” Napkin Art
Australian Ironwoman Courtney Hanckock gave a motivational speech to open a conference I attended recently. She told Picasso's napkin story, which is said to go something like this.
Picasso was at a Paris market when an admirer approached and asked if he could do a quick sketch on a paper napkin for her.
Picasso politely agreed, promptly created a drawing, and handed back the napkin — but not before asking for a million Francs.
The lady was shocked: “How can you ask for so much? It took you five minutes to draw this!”
“No”, Picasso replied, “It took me 40 years to draw this in five minutes.”
This is such a poignant tale, that resonates with all creatives including professional photographers. It speaks of experience and ease.
Experience starts photographing flowers in Mum's garden as a teenager. Experience continues throughout the years creating, experimenting, refining as well as learning from mistakes. Experience documenting many wedding and portraits, working with a variety of people in different locations. Knowing your camera intimately to bring to life the images you create in your mind. The individual photographer's eye and vision contributes to their style for which they become known. It's this look and feel of their work that attracts you to them and makes them unique.
Experience leads to proficiency and ease. It may appear easy to use a digital SLR to create relaxed, natural images of you and your loved ones. But it takes years of experience to make it look easy. To be able to create a masterpiece in five minutes.
I hope you enjoyed this tale as much as I did.