When Timothy Priano opened his agency in 1986, there were a mere four competitors in the industry. Withstanding the test of time more than two decades later, ARTISTS by Timothy Priano has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago and works with some of the most prestigious and influential names in the beauty, editorial, advertising and commercial world. What has the business changed in 26 years? I got the chance to speak with Timothy about how he got started as a beauty agent, how the industry has transformed since he opened ARTISTS and why social media is a crucial part of his business.
Your career launched more than 30 years ago when you began working as an agent for hair and makeup artists. How did you get started on this career path? Was it always something you wanted to do?
I always knew I wanted to own my own business. My brother Thom Priano and Garren were already established industry pros when I first started my career. I worked at their agency for five years to learn the industry ropes and ins and outs. From there, I started building my own career and began to move forward. I opened my own agency in 1986, and they were with me for 10 years following. At the time there were only five agencies, and I was one of them.
You were inspired to open ARTISTS by Timothy Priano in 1986 after seeing many of your clients achieve great success. More than two decades later, what are some of the major changes you've seen in how people conduct business in this industry?
The main change I notice is loyalty is gone. Very few people are loyal today, and you as an agent just become the flavor of the month. Favors were worth something 20 years ago; people remembered you for the big stuff and it paid-off to do a kindness. Today, if you do a favor for a client, they still would move on to someone new the next month. In the old days, relationships were built on a collaboration of talent. Today it is all about how somebody can take advantage of a situation. The new breed has lost the value of long-term commitments.
Social media has changed the way we promote our businesses and clients. What tools do you use to promote through the various social media channels? How have your methods improved or made this job easier and quicker in the last year?
Social media is so important, we can’t stress it enough! Our blog continues to grow every week with new readers checking us out, and we promote with Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook as well. Not only is it important for the agency to use social media as a marketing tool, but it's crucial for the artists to self-promote their work and expert tips and tricks.
You deal with loads of visuals working with photographers and beauty artists. And pro tips for image and asset management?
My mantra is only publish the best of the best, don’t just fill your portfolio with loads of images. Make sure you put the greatest work out there because less is always more.
Any favorite clients you've worked with this year who particularly stand out as inspirational?
Photographer Melissa Rodwell is very inspirational. She is willing to experiment and try new talent.
Can you talk about any exciting campaigns or editorials your clients will be working on this summer?
What excites me most is reinventing established artists. That is where we find inspiration, and those projects are always the most exciting!
To learn more about ARTISTS by Timothy Priano, visit the agency online.