People always say you should be out there "networking".
The problem with this is that is has nothing to do with being an artist. It has to do with turning your art into product.
I'm not going to be delusional and say it doesn't matter, because it does. Who you know, that can help you get to the next level, absolutely matters.
But that's where the challenge comes in.
How are you going to continue to create art and also get it to the point where you can sustain and monetize what you are doing?
That depends on you and what your goals are.
My goal is to create an all encompassing brand that embodies all of my creative talents, not just the hit song or rock album that a major talent agency can easily translate and sell to the mass populous.
That type of shit has nothing to do with innovation and that is part of the problem with the industry. Everyone is overly concerned with being known instead of focusing on innovating and doing what has never been done before.
Peter Thiel, the notorious silicon valley investor calls this going from 0 to 1. Creating that solution that puts you in a league of your own.
You don't want to be in competition with other people. When you are that takes away from your own innovation and doing something that is going to make a real lasting impact on the world.
Elon Musk of Tesla and Space X is not concerned with competing with General Motors' version of the electric car because he is the guy who's fingerprint is so defined in the electric car market that whatever anyone else does is irrelevant. Not only is his technology, dedication and innovation in that field superior, but the power of his brand is so strong that even when he fails people still believe in him (including me).
On top of that, he famously exclaims that Tesla does not spend any money on advertising. It's not surprising. Not only is he a master worthy of praise, but he has gone from 0 to 1 in everything that he does. He does not "compete" with other people or products in the traditional sense. He is only concerned with creating products that solve the tough problems that only an individual not concerned with likes and trends can do.
And yes, there is such a thing as doing something that has never been done before. Elon Musk planning a manned mission to Mars has never been done before and thus discredits the statement "there is nothing new under the sun". There is all kinds of shit that is new, you just don't see it because people don't want to spend the time to become a master worthy of praise. It's easier to sell and monetize a product, sound or image that is acceptable or validated by the masses.
You just have to decide what you are going to be. Are you going to play the game or create a league of your own?