"Theresa Hartford", Jammin' at the E&M Market, December 2007
Let me preface this post by saying that it has no real substance or real meaning other than pointing out an observation I've made.
I'm not even sure where this came from or why, but I just discovered the parallels between the careers of photographers and musicians. I see three groups that can be classified. The famous and world reknowned, The indie groups, and the local acts.
The famous group (music and photo) includes a a lot of names. Some known for their pure artistry and originality in the field, others for their technical superiority even if lacking substance. This group is among the elite. Guaranteed sales no matter what they churn out, the fanbase is devoted and extremely large.
The second group "indies" are still highly successful and most people in this group use their art for their full-time income. They don't get the notoriety of the famous group, but their following and sales are enough to support a content lifestyle. There are way more in this group than the previous group. Same categories though, commercial and technically proficient acts, along with artist that are paving the way with new work and cutting edge style.
Lastly is the local acts. The group that has a 9-5 job and this is their creative outlet and devoted hobby. They are the most populous group of all. They devote all of their non-working time to their hobby and love to share it with others. There are probably more "hidden gems" in this group than we know.
I also think that the road to the top group is a fairly similar path. Lots of time spent getting your work out there. Putting it in the right person's hands. That person either has the ability to make things happen or is connected to someone that can make things happen. Then come the agents and reps to help continue to market and make others aware of your work. At this point the artist can sit back and just worry about producing the art that got them there and less about getting it out to the masses. I think at this point you have made the indie group. Some are completely content playing soldout shows for 300-400 people night after night and traveling in a pimped out winnebago. The sales are paying the bills and a little more. Then a small portion of these "indies" are plucked from the group and placed on a rung above everyone else. They are seen as the either legends or the very best of current trends.
If you are still reading this I applaude you. I have nothing else to add. Basically it was a pointless random parallel that I for some reason felt like sharing. Take from it what you will.