Q&A with Nasty Galaxy’s Editor, Kerri Kolen
Sophia Amoruso, the New York Times–bestselling author of #GIRLBOSS and Nasty Gal founder, is back with a beautiful, ambitious book. We spoke to Kerri Kolen, the editor, to find out how an art book like this gets made:
The book is so distinct in look and feel – what made you zero in on this style and vibe?
Like any book, some of the style and vibe came along organically as the book morphed from an idea to a real book. But we always knew we wanted the book to be unlike anything else out there. There are so many other coffee table books, style books, photography books, fashion/lifestyle books. Sophia really wanted this to be its own thing—not like any of those but a mashup that more appropriately reflected the inspiration that she sees in the world—as she has experienced it. It was also important to both of us to include the essays—in the midst of all the style, there are real nuggets of wisdom and hilarity that Sophia wanted to express but that didn’t have a real place in her previous book, #GIRLBOSS.
How would you describe your collaborative process with Sophia?
The conversation is very open and fluid but also traditional in a lot of ways. For this book, we brainstormed the larger goals, overarching look and feel, and pulled inspiration together and discussed it all in very broad terms. Then Sophia went off and started collecting and creating the pieces of the book. We had a live working document in Google that we both had access to. Sophia would work on it pretty much daily and I would go in every few weeks at the beginning and make comments, notes, ask questions, make suggestions, etc. In this way, the book and its contents kept changing. Once the content felt mostly in place, we started doing the same thing with editing and making final selections, reordering, finding new images and replacing some images, etc. Eventually it felt finished enough to move to a “working manuscript.” Once we had this in place, we would each go off on our own to make notes and then get on the phone to go through the whole book—page by page—discussing our notes in detail, until the next round. We did this until there were no more notes…which was pretty much right up until the end.
With so many photos, designs, letters, and more, what was the biggest challenge in making this book?
Editing! There were so many great individual pieces that felt worthy of inclusion so the weeding out process felt a little grueling sometimes, though necessary. Plus, every time one design element changes, the whole book changes, and needs to be looked at again as a whole.
What’s your favorite piece of advice in this book?
There is so much great advice in this book. Sophia is terrific at packing a lot of wisdom in her own pithy anecdote. The essays in Nasty Galaxy are small but pack a lot of punch. I think my favorite piece of advice, though, is in the essay “On Fear”: “Get attached. Stay attached. Just don’t forget to keep evolving.” I also like her instructions for How to Check Out of a Fancy Hotel because I couldn’t agree more. Why do people still go through a formal check-out process?
What is your horoscope according to Nasty Galaxy?
Apparently I am an “intense mother*cker,”: really good at getting people on my side and have some jealous tendencies. I’d say it’s all true.
What would surprise readers to know about the making of this book?
It was harder to write and edit than #GIRLBOSS!
Find out more about this beautiful and unique book here:
From Sophia Amoruso, the New York Times–bestselling author of #GIRLBOSS, a lushly illustrated embodiment of the collective spirit of the Nasty Gal brand, Sophia’s own personal brand, and girlbosses everywhere, with a foreword by Courtney Love. Warning: this is not a style book. It’s not about how to mix... Read more >