Meet Nada Alic

nada alic for passerbuys
Nada is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor, by way of Toronto, and the author of Future You, a collection of short fiction. By day, she manages editorial for Society6, a print-on-demand marketplace for 200k artists. Previously, she managed Canadian operations for Etsy. More recently, she had an essay published in the book You Care Too Much as well as poetry coming out in Dialogues II. Currently, she is working on a new body of work that she has no idea what she will do with.
I Saw It In You by Andrea Nakhla with Prose by Nada Alic;    Future You and Future You No. 2    by Nada Alic

I Saw It In You by Andrea Nakhla with Prose by Nada Alic; Future You and Future You No. 2 by Nada Alic

on her morning routine

On a typical morning, I’d wake up at 7:30 AM and try to decode the meaning behind a particularly unnerving dream I had, like why I survived the tsunami and my high school teacher James Franco did not, and what that meant about my emotional state, if anything at all. Then I would Google image search “James Franco” and eventually find myself on his little brother, Dave Franco’s IMDB page, and at that point, I would be late for work. In all seriousness, I truly hate mornings, so I’ve designed a pretty fool-proof routine each morning that involves Starbucks instant coffee sticks, Klorane Dry Shampoo With Oat Milk and a quick and silent cry. 

on becoming a writer

I studied journalism in University and spent much of my early days doing freelance music journalism. I always considered my writing to be an afterthought to the message I was trying to convey; like a little tortilla chip vessel for information. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started writing fiction, which was born out of boredom during one uniquely terrible Toronto winter. It felt like life had this monotonous precision to it, everything repeated itself so eerily each day. It was so joyless to me. There was a lot of nothingness, and in that nothingness was me, observing the subtle vibrations of everything and everyone: the people on the subway train, in the gym, at the mall. I started writing stories about these things that were so banal that they were somehow hilarious. Hilariously boring. I hoped to reconstruct them, and give them a new life through stories. I’ve always had a strong desire to live in a universe that is full of meaning, even if that means I have to create it myself.


Some of Nada's favorite books
I don’t know how many times I’ve read Sheila Heti’s “How Should A Person Be” but I’ll probably continue reading it until I find out. It’s a semi-fictionalized book about her real life and friends in Toronto and it mirrors my experience so acutely that it frightens me. She’s a writer. Her best friend Margaux Williamson is a painter, and Sheila’s relationship to Margaux is the existential stage for her anxieties to perform. She is constantly questioning herself, the meaning of her work, herself in relation to a man, to Margaux. She deifies Margaux then betrays her then asks for forgiveness. This book makes me consider the possibility of a parallel universe theory.
— on her favorite book
Bodysuit, Zara    ; Jeans, Vintage

Bodysuit, Zara ; Jeans, Vintage

on her writing process

My approach is obviously more strategic when it comes to writing and editing for Society6: I’m speaking to a specific demographic, so the kind of content I’m producing is designed with specific business and brand goals in mind. That said, it is still my voice, but I recognize that I am playing more of a supporting role in that capacity. Writing fiction requires a completely different part of my brain. My writing voice is so neurotic, self-indulgent and somewhat sexual that I can only really write that way in the privacy of my own home. I am living a double life, essentially. 

nada's favorite books

How Should A Person Be by Sheila Heti, You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman, Being Bodies by Lenore Friedman and Susan Moon, Weird Fucks by Lynne Tillman, No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July

on her personal projects

I work on the Future You series with my best friend Andrea Nakhla who creates all of the artwork for the books. I love getting to see her visually interpret my stories, because she’ll often pull things from it that I didn’t realize were even there. The visual component gives it an extra depth. So I would say art, specifically her art, is a critical aspect to creating a more immersive experience. 


Jacket, Vintage (Via    SquaresVille    in Los Feliz)

Jacket, Vintage (Via SquaresVille in Los Feliz)

I’m a minimalist. I don’t want my apartment to feel like an obstacle course of bad decisions. Every object in my apartment is very intentional, like I’m pretty sure I’ve invented a kind of feng shui method that only applies to me. Most of my stuff is mid-century modern vintage furniture, with little sentimental pieces here and there. Honestly, all I really have are my books.
— on home decor
Bad Moon Rising bath salt  ; some of Nada's favorite beauty products

on her beauty routine

I’ve been using the same Revlon foundation since 6th grade, which is both deeply sad and so funny to me. I don’t know what I’m doing with my face. I know there are YouTube tutorials out there but I’m not ready for them yet. I wash my face twice a day with whatever is in my cabinet, which could be anything from SW Basics cleanser, $4 Apricot Scrub from Vons, or a sample of something I got from a door greeter at Sephora. Is there a book I can read about this? Someone help me. I also recommend Benefit They're Real! Lengthening Mascara, Trader Joe's Coconut Body Butter, Medicine Mama Bee Magic All In One Healing Skin Cream, Bad Moon Rising Bath SaltsBenefit They're Real! Push-Up Gel Eyeliner PenCover Fx Mattifying Primer With Anti-Acne Treatment, and Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Nail Enamel.

on her shopping habits and style

I’ve always been pretty aesthetically-minded in my approach to clothing. For the most part, I’ve kept a consistent uniform of all-black everything, always and forever, amen. In recent years I’ve started to incorporate other non-threatening colors such as white, beige and the occasional peach. My mind is so chaotic that dressing monochromatically calms me. For whatever reason, this rule does not apply to my vintage pieces: I own so many insane sequin shirts, silk kimonos, legging bodysuits, and velvet bomber jackets. I guess I like to wear one artsy piece over an otherwise blank canvas. 

nada's favorite movies

My Girl, Blue is the Warmest Color, Almost Famous, The Virgins Suicides

nada's favorite places in la

My favorite vintage store in LA is Squaresville in Los Feliz, they always have the best stuff and it’s pretty affordable. 

If I want to give myself a panic attack, I will go to the Rosebowl Flea and beeline it to the vintage clothing section, covering my eyes when I pass the Moroccan rug section whispering “you don’t need this” quietly to myself, over and over again. 

Sometimes I will just stand inside Mohawk General Store just to feel what it would feel like to be able to afford their clothes. I think they know. 

For home stuff, I really like OK and Lawson Fenning on Silver Lake Blvd, The Hunt in Highland Park, and also there are a ton of great vintage furniture stores in Long Beach along E 4th St.

For smaller objects like candles and ceramics, I like Reform School in Silver Lake, Individual Medley in Atwater, General Store in Venice, and Otherwild in Echo Park. 

The best bookstores in LA are Stories, Skylight, And Pens Press, and Pop Hop

The best date spots are Figaro (feels like Paris, all of the waiters have real French accents or very impressive fake ones), Good Luck Bar (feels like the inside of a sexy fortune cookie), Sonny’s Hideaway for great booths and cocktails, and Kombu Sushi (it’s cheap and Pauly Shore is almost always there so you can talk about him when you run out of things to talk about)

The best places to cry are Sunset Blvd at night (it’s your best defense against getting murdered - no one wants to deal with an already-hysterical woman), Echo Park Lake (no one will be able to see you from your paddle boat), Silverlake Reservoir Dog Park (dogs can sense sadness and they’re fun to watch from a safe distance), and Hollywood Forever Cemetery (you’ll feel very LA)


Photography by Claire Donoghue