Amber Duan: Patron Saint of The Prattler
Naomi: What drew you to ”Prattler,” Amber?
Amber: I was first interested in doing editorial illustrations for the magazine, so, I joined the club in 2019 and worked on those issues. I was then invited to become a creative director but took a gap year because of the pandemic. Upon coming back for sophomore year, that's when I took over.
Naomi: What's something people don't realize about the role of a creative director?
Amber: Many people think that being a creative director is just designing the issue, but so much additional work goes into administrative duties. There's a lot of behind-the-scenes managerial work that's not as glamorous.
Part of the process is trying to tailor everyone's different formatting styles for consistency, which sometimes takes thirty-plus hours. It's always really cool to see it coming together as one big issue.
Naomi: There’s always two creative directors at a time, what’s that collaborative team effort like?
Amber: It's a big role and being able to delegate some of those tasks to someone else is necessary. Working with Yotian was especially helpful because, in my first year as creative director, I was super new to InDesign. I didn't know anything about formatting, but she was there to lay the groundwork for how we do things now.
Naomi: One of the highlights of my “Prattler” career was working with Carly, Nina, Tien, and you coming back from the pandemic. It was such a dream team once we could finally work together in person. It's only grown from that, but I feel like being an all-female group and mainly women of color made a huge difference in how we all worked together and dealt with issues.
Amber: For sure. It was so rare to have a group like that in a professional setting.
Naomi: Being in illustration and doing this role is a huge learning curve. I feel like having a large skillset is one of the things that makes you a very impressive creative director. The layout is definitely a huge part of it, but also just general direction and assertiveness. When we first met, I thought you were so timid, but you have truly grown with the role and become an admirable leader of “Prattler.”
Amber: It’s wild that I started doing this sophomore year. Typically our creative directors have been graphic design upperclassmen. Coming at it from an illustration perspective, I’ve created visual media opportunities for all majors by further developing the feedback process, resulting in a greater focus on quality art in “Prattler.”
Naomi: What's the biggest thing you’ve learned that you'll carry into future roles?
Amber: Communication. There is so much going on in a workplace all at once, if problems come up you need to tell someone instead of keeping it to yourself. Then, we can figure it out together and move on. So I will be taking that with me in the future.
Overall, I'm really glad I got to be a part of “Prattler.” It's definitely changed the course of what I thought my creative growth was going to be like and made me more open to production-type roles. That's been a welcome and monumental discovery for me.
Art by Avery Slezak