In 2016, Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature–a non-traditional selection of a musician by the Swedish Academy. Dylan declined to attend the ceremony and instead sent his regards via letter.
“When I started writing songs as a teenager, and even as I started to achieve some renown for my abilities, my aspirations for these songs only went so far. I thought they could be heard in coffeehouses or bars, maybe later in places like Carnegie Hall, the London Palladium. If I was really dreaming big, maybe I could imagine getting to make a record and then hearing my songs on the radio. That was really the big prize in my mind. Making records and hearing your songs on the radio meant that you were reaching a big audience and that you might get to keep doing what you had set out to do.” -Bob Dylan, from his Nobel Prize Acceptance Letter
“When I started taking photographs as a teenager, and even as I started to achieve some renown for my abilities on Instagram, my aspirations for these photographs only went so far as lots of likes and followers. I thought my photographs could be seen on Mossless or Ain’t Bad, maybe later on sites like Lens Culture. If I was really dreaming big, maybe I could imagine self-funding and self-publishing my own photo book and then have that book sold on PhotoEye. That was really the big prize in my mind. Making photographs and recouping some of your financial losses through photo book sales and the occasional lecture or being a guest juror for an online photography competition meant that you were reaching a big audience and that was the point of being a photographer.” -Aspiring (Hypothetical) Photographer, from a (hypothetical) online interview