For now, I'll just say how amused I am that the only response to explicit statements by a professional photographer, who actually has a commercial and artistic career in this decade, that he both crafted a style and then improved that style -- is to ignore him.
Do you mean Joey L? He had ability /style to start with and then got [technically] better with practice and experience. Nothing new there nor the fact that you should keep working at it. The last idea being the main point of your rebuttal I thought.
I certainly did not think he got a style simply by craft if that's what you are implying and this is the old Nature Vs Nurture debate.
Not everyone is a retired old codger BTW and when you had a career is of little import to the debate either. My professional/personal work had also developed over the same time as Joey L. But I don't really see that as being particularly relevant or special, the main thing about that time is that it was during a time of rapid photographic upheaval.
What strikes me about Joey L. is that he has an extremely good business head on him, which is what made him so successful. And having that attitude whilst so very young also made him stand out.