At 245 4th St. NW, also known as the East Architecture Studio, a group of students gather together on a weekly basis to discuss and bounce ideas off of one another.
However, this is not your typical discussion of physics or computer science topics that one might expect from a Tech student. These discussions are not STEM related at all.
These meetings are a time for students to truly stimulate, express and expand their creative mindset through various means of artistic expression, whether it be modeling, photography, writing, fashion, music or any other creative medium.
Georgia Tech Creatives (GT Creatives or GTC) is a safe space where the creatives at Tech are able to find and learn from other like-minded creatives on campus.
GTC is a space “that inspires creatives to be their authentic selves and encourages them to never hold back on their creative passions and visions” said Lekha Gowda, third-year BA and one of the co-founders of GT Creatives.
The idea first began in February 2022 when Gowda noticed the lack of clubs that focused on all aspects of creative expression on campus.
“I felt like I lost touch with all my creative passions in order to fit in with the GT culture,” Gowda said.
To combat the lack of creative spaces on campus, Gowda reached out to one of her good friends, Akbar Khan, third-year ARCH and one of the co-founders of GT Creatives. Khan had a passion for photography and produced work that was well-respected by the Tech community and throughout the city of Atlanta.
The two began searching through their network of impactful creatives on Tech’s campus and later formed the first executive board of GT Creatives in May 2022. The board consists of Tech students Gowda, Khan, Christopher McCrary, fourth-year ARCH, Camille Trotman, third-year LMC and Rishav Sinha, third-year ME. Each student brings their own blend of creativity to the organization.
The executive board began working and planning from May throughout the entire summer to put this dream and vision into a reality. On Sept. 7, GT Creative made its official debut to the Tech community through its inaugural kick-off event.
Students from various backgrounds filled the DramaTech theater that night, showing up in their artistically expressive outfits and with a sense of creative energy that was reciprocated by each other that entire night. The event featured music performances from Tech artists Spaceman V, Velcroes and Zaire.
Students began uniting over one common theme: creativity.
Since their kick-off event, GT Creatives has continued to push forward the importance of creative expression on campus. GT Creatives meets on a weekly basis and occasionally more frequently with workshops and events throughout the week.
In their most recent event led by Khan and McCrary, students learned about photography lighting techniques and were able to capture and experiment with different photography and modeling angles. One could feel the creative energy in the room as students simply learned from each other and began discussing topics such as shutter speed, exposure and different focal lengths.
“GT Creatives allows me to have a sense of relief from the sometimes stressful life as a Tech student … Being around other creative individuals inspired me to pick back up some of my artistic passions, such as painting and drawing, because I sort of lost track of these passions when I first came to Tech,” said Najma Noor, third-year CS.
Others commented on the success of the event.
“I really enjoyed the event tonight. … I started photography recently and GT Creatives is a great place for me to be surrounded around other creative photographers where we help better on another,” said Abigail Spence, fourth-year BMED.
As attendees walked around the room Friday night, it was apparent that there was indeed a presence of creatives as the room was filled with over 20 photographers, videographers, musicians, models and artists enjoying and learning in each other’s presence.
GT Creatives is also a space to stimulate one’s creative oratorical mindset as well.
“I’m currently working on launching my own podcast, and coming to the GT Creatives meetings helps me formulate a ton of new topics that I can discuss because I’m around other creative individuals, which helps the creative ideas to flow,” said Avi Emoghene, second-year ARCH.
There have always been creative students at Tech, but there was never an organization that fully brought all of the students together to this point, explained Nehemiah Wilson, CS ’22 and current professional photographer and cinematographer.
“I really like what GT Creatives is doing as it gives students a place to express and reach their artistic potential … I wish there was an org like this when I was on campus,” Wilson said.
As far as the future for GT Creatives, the organization is only improving.
“GTC will be the stepping stone for Georgia Tech to integrate with Atlanta’s amazing creative scene,” Gowda said in regards to the future vision for the organization.
GT Creatives has many impactful events in store, such as their collaboration with the Atlanta Streetwear market, collaboration with The Elevator Creative, another creative organization started on the campuses of the Atlanta University Center, and their inaugural fashion show and magazine that the organization is currently working on.
GT Creatives’ main vision is to “bring light to the talent that was always here on campus” Gowda said.
Students can stay connected and updated with all recent happenings regarding the organization by following GT Creatives on Instagram at @gtcreatives.