Most people don’t DM celebrities expecting a reply. Even fewer slide in hoping to land a job. But in 2016 when Sage Adams sent Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter SZA a message on Instagram complimenting her outfit, the two hit it off, and Adams, a gender non-conforming artist and curator, wound up being the creative director on SZA’s 2017 album “Ctrl”—at just 19. “I did creative direction for her album and all her tours,” Adams told Brooklyn Magazine during a live interview at DUMBO House earlier this year. “How I got the job was being really good at collaborating.”
Adams, who still works with SZA (the two created a limited-edition sweatshirt and poster for American Express Members last month) has more recently appeared in a Nike advertising campaign called Women Coach LA. Adams is also a founder of Art Hoe Collective, a platform that promotes works by queer artists of color and other marginalized people through Instagram and gallery shows. Art Hoe Collective has adopted a grant model in which the group gives small grants to curated artists. Adams, who was featured in the 2016 coming-of-age documentary “All This Panic,” is an artist in their own right, dabbling in drawing, watercolor and hand-dyeing.