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From Us in Charcoal: Gauri

Meet Gauri Nema, a returning member who went from staff writer to Charcoal’s Creative Director. Coming into college, Gauri knew she had a general interest in writing and the arts, but found it difficult to find a community of people that truly made her feel comfortable.

“I didn't know how to push myself in spaces…”

Despite her introduction to college starting online, she began to put in the effort to find more communities where she could be herself. After entering Charcoal, she found more community than ever.

Although Gauri is a returning member, she has only been on staff since Spring of 2021. “I felt like a fresh member and didn’t know where exactly I belonged here, especially since nothing was in-person” said Gauri. However, she enjoyed the freedom Charcoal gave her, citing how her first piece was a full album review on one of her favorite albums.

For Gauri, a person craving space allowing for free-flowing creativity, a position that spoils her as an artist was perfect for her. She admits how she hadn’t been in a role that gave her the exact qualifications to be a Creative Director, but she showed her dedication and passion which was enough to make her the perfect candidate.

"People find themselves here and I want to make the most of it."

As a Creative Director, she is the backbone of Charcoal’s creative execution. Her responsibilities range from building/vetting concepts, coordinating photoshoots, and directing everyone in front of the camera. Before photoshoots, you can always find Gauri journaling specific poses, attitudes, and scenes she wants to bring to life with the rest of the staff.

“I’ve never done anything like this, it’s all very very new... [I] learn from it and the fact that people have faith in me makes it easy. I have many mentors around me like Chike, Sham, Jess, and everybody else on the e-board. They have supported and taught me so much” At the end of the day, “Everything in Charcoal has a learning curve. The best I can do is be receptive and know better for next time,” explains Gauri.

As Creative Director, the past month of production has been a lot of learning and hard work that has been taxing. On top of the physical labor, Gauri doesn’t want to disappoint the creative team or the Executive Board. Nevertheless, being a part of Charcoal has been an opportunity for growth. Gauri is always finding ways to make and serve Charcoal better. “When you’re pushing yourself and exploring your boundaries… [it] helps you know yourself… [it] gives you space to find new skills. Chike is 100% right [that] people find themselves here… and I want to make the most of it.”

Make sure to come back to read more, From Us in Charcoal.