Jamie Haynes, the owner of Rouge Artists, began her career in New York City, and it was her time as a producer that inspired her to start an agency. Her desire to represent the industry’s strongest talent and foster relationships with clients and brands is a goal she continues to achieve to this day. I first met Jamie at a Seattle Networking Event hosted by Rouge Artists. Her advice to the group of artists that night was invaluable and I wanted to bring her words of wisdom to Breed readers who are considering approaching an agency for representation.
Can you tells us about Rouge Artists? Why did you start an agency and tell us about your passion behind representing your amazing artists?
Rouge Artists is a Boutique Agency that represents some of the best talent in the Entertainment Industry. We pride ourselves on being able to assist ALL clients with the Artists that are “right” for the jobs. I started Rouge Artists 14 years ago after Producing Cindy Crawford’s first infomercial for “Meaningful Beauty”. Her stylist didn’t have an agent and I was giving her some “inside advice” on how to handle other bookings. She asked me to be her agent. We had a few lunches and then “Rouge Artists” was opened. She was signed as my first Artist. From there, word got out that I had opened an agency and I started to get a flurry of Artists wanting to be represented by my agency. I had a really strong reputation as a Producer/Executive Producer of commercials and Artists knew how tenacious I am. I decided to start the agency based on the premise of “it’s your career but I am helping guide you”. I wanted Artists to feel like they were taking part in their careers not just waiting for their phone to ring. I also have the philosophy no matter how much money the rate is I don’t want anyone to work on something they aren’t excited about. NO money is worth it if you aren’t having fun and happy with what you are doing. Many of my Artists have been with me for 10+ years.
As an agency, you must receive a lot of artists inquiries seeking representation. How do you filter through all of the inquiries and find those artists that really catch your eye and compliment your agency’s strengths?
Honestly I usually take referrals from my other Artists for Rouge Artists. I trust them and they know what we are about. So they usually steer us to some great talent. They are out there working and are the best recruiters. But….since you mentioned that we get a lot of Artists seeking representation (which we do) – I realized their was a big void within our industry and found a solution to fill it. That’s how “Rouge Society” was formed.
When considering an artist for representation, what key factors go into your decision to bring them on board or not?
Usually it’s a “gut feeling” or they are filling a “niche” within the agency. Maybe we need a Make Up Artist that pairs well with one of our Hair Stylists, etc. And of course it’s about their work, attitude and experience.
What’s your ideal artist? What skills, style, attitude, etc does she/he need to have to be a Rouge Artist?
I tend to gravitate towards people with unique style. Someone who thinks out of the box and takes risks in their work. I love when I see models, actors that don’t look “dressed or made up”. They look “real”. That is a skill. But I do like the other end of the spectrum – Glamour. A great Attitude is a prerequisite. I am completely bias towards Rouge Artists. Have to be. I live, eat and breathe my agency.
Nowadays, the industry is very digitized. If you’re hosting a portfolio review, like you did in Seattle, WA, should an artist bring a printed portfolio or a digital portfolio? What else should an artist have prepared to show you?
Digital only. Very few clients look at Portfolio Books anymore. Artists should bring questions with them on how they want to improve what they are doing and anything else they want to ask. If you got me, take advantage of the time.
Is there one piece of advice that you’d like to give to all artists out there seeking representation?
BE PREPARED!!!! If you are able to get an agency’s attention – make sure you have no excuses on why your work isn’t up to par or that you will have more images coming next month, etc. You will literally get 30 seconds of someone looking at your email. Make it short, concise, and show your BEST work. If something doesn’t work (website down, etc) the agency will move on to the next Artist.
Can you tell us more about Rouge Artist Society? What is your vision for Rouge Society? When will Rouge Society be open for artists interested in joining this network?
Rouge Society is a Digital Agency that will be servicing Artists & Clients from all over. It is a collective of Artists that will be able to access jobs, events & industry insider information. Not too mention when you join you get a Portfolio Review by me (PRICELESS!!). We will be your Digital Agency. If you have a question about something in the industry we will be there to help you and guide you (also PRICELESS!)
Rouge Society is going to upset the industry, as there is nothing out there of it’s kind. We will be able to facilitate every clients needs and also have an amazing collective of Artists.
As of today, we are happy to announce that Rouge Society has launched!
Any final words of wisdom to our readers?
Do what you are passionate about and you will be successful. Always maintain your own style. Everything is a process – be patient and work hard to achieve your goals. But always keep setting new goals.