Art & Design

Meet Sam Adams & Hunter Crowder, Two Cali Weirdos Drifting Through L.A.’s Art World

Art & Design

Meet Sam Adams & Hunter Crowder, Two Cali Weirdos Drifting Through L.A.’s Art World


Hunter Crowder grew up around Hollywood’s bizarro version of reality, and its skewed specter is apparent in his art. The 20-year-old multimedia artist, whose father is a Hollywood stuntman, is fascinated by fringe characters, whether it’s the polio-stricken faded starlet he hopes to feature in his planned video project The Goddess Bunny Church, or Olin Kamp, the mysterious, power chair-riding Andy Warhol-meets-Karl Lagerfeld creation Crowder often embodies. (Kamp’s ghostly presence can be spotted in the music video for “Outsiders,” by L.A. goth rockers Io Echo, where he is accompanied by his ever-present blond companion.) Crowder, who just began pursuing a business degree at the University of Southern California, is “obsessed with people and how strange they can be,” and his mission is to pinpoint beauty where it may otherwise be overlooked. So far, mission accomplished. –Busra Erkara

How would you describe your aesthetic?
Appropriate. I like dressing fancy! But I don’t like breaking any rules so I always stick to a dress code. It’s the Christmas season so I have only been wearing lederhosen, Walter Van Beirendonck, and anything wool.

How did your career get started?
When I watched my dad break his back flipping a Marauder on a movie set as a stuntman. I then realized I would rather work behind the scenes.

What famous person dead or living do most wish you could have as a roommate?
Helena Bonham Carter because she favors cleanliness and I like keeping my place clean. That is something we could have a marvelous time doing together.

What activities do most enjoy doing alone?
Watching movies, tasting exotic cheese, playing characters, making prank calls, riding my horse, and other extremely guilty pleasures.

How do you wind down before bed?
I play Johnny Mathis and scream at all the homeless people outside my window.

Do you have any phobias?
Being late to lunchtime arrangements.

What most bothers you about life in Los Angeles?
People who don’t give it a chance! I grew up next to a beautiful farm about an hour outside of Los Angeles where you can see tractors on the freeway. I moved to Downtown Los Angeles about a year ago and I still have a lot to explore. There’s something for everyone, except in Silverlake. I could never be caught dead there.

What are some new hobbies you would like to take on?
I would like to finish teaching myself German and Russian.  I studied Latin for five years and that has helped immensely in learning new languages. However, I have never been too athletic so I would like to take up either fencing or tennis.

If there was a phrase that you think best sums up your approach to life what might it be?
“And after so much chardonnay to wash down a feast of crabs I laughed until I wept.”

Having modeled for brands like American Apparel, Jeremy Scott, and Urban Outfitters, Sam Adams finally decided to give her true passion a try: making things. The 21 year old, who grew up in Los Angeles’ near-mythical San Fernando Valley, was living a hedonistic life of bleary nights and endless parties, when she decided it was time for a change. “I soon discovered that the satisfaction I received from creating was much greater than the satisfaction I received from going out, dressing like a freak, and having a crazy night,” she says. Since then, she’s plunged headfirst into the world of graphic design, handling the visuals for LA nail boutique NCLA, and helping with the creation of Jeremy Scott’s new website. When she’s not lending her talents to established companies, Adams devotes her time to creating more personal work, like the series of digital illustrations she entitled Girls,  which includes 5 smaller sized prints as well as 2 life sized cut outs.—Ben Barna

How would you describe your aesthetic?
Medium rare.

What’s your next project?
Graduate school.

If you had to live in a past time, what do you think would be the most fun era and why?
The ‘80s, because then I could’ve hung with my first crush, River Phoenix.

How do you wind down before bed?
Sitting in bed on my laptop, reading the Huffington Post’s “weird news” section. I am also completely dependent on my white noise machine to get to sleep.

What kind of person were you in high school?
Crazy, all over the place, no goals, living only in the moment. Pretty different from how I am now but I also don’t regret it. I had a lot of fun.

Do you have any phobias?
Not anything extreme, but the sound of people chewing can really freak me out for some reason. But I try not to get too dramatic about it.  I’m also not a big fan of heights.

Which artists inspire you?
My taste is pretty diverse. I love Stefan Sagmeister, Tadanori Yokoo, Jenny Holzer, and Barbara Kruger. I also love art history and am inspired by the evolution of art over the centuries. I am inspired by the creative individuals around me, especially those who do not even realize how genius they really are.

What most bothers you about life in Los Angeles?
I tried thinking of something to say besides the obvious: traffic. But to be honest I really love LA. It’s a fun and diverse city to live in, and we have the best weather. I hate how it takes me an hour (at least) to get to work and how everything is so spread out that you really can’t just take a cab or walk anywhere, especially where I live.

How do you hope to grow as a creative person?
By always being open to new ideas and trying new things. I think that people often get “stuck” in life. I don’t ever want to feel like “this is it” and that I have reached my limits. There is always more to be done, more to see, feel, experience.

Photography by James Orlando.