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In My Room: Eli Hausman By: Jenna Jarjoura and Hannah Bernstein

Eli Hausman shared a room with his brother up until fifth grade, but when his youngest brother moved out of the nursery, Hausman claimed the new room.

The room is completely redecorated now. The only thing in Hausman’s room that is there from when he moved in is his loft bed. His grandfather crafted the bed when he moved into his new room seven years ago.

Hausman adds new decorations over the years as he develops new interests and his identity.

Hausman put artwork up in sixth grade that is still there today. He got the pieces for Christmas from his aunt who shares a similar musical taste. There are three unique pieces of art from an artist in California that his aunt found through Etsy. The paintings are of rappers Biggie, J. Cole and Jay Z. The pieces of work are displayed together in that order as a timeline of rap.

“This is my favorite lineage of rap,” Hausman said. “They all incorporate jazz into their music, which is a really big part for me when I'm listening to rap. I don't necessarily want the traditional beats you hear in more current and recent rappers. I like to hear a little bit of jazz, especially trumpets.”

Hausman has another piece of artwork from his aunt: a Tupac record engraving. This piece is from a local artist that is friends with his aunt. The engraving is Tupac in a collared shirt with a bandana tied on his head. It is the most unique piece, Hausman said. He hopes to be able to fill the wall to its entirety with artists to create a music wall.

Hausman is trying to fill all the walls. The walls were bare when he moved in, and slowly he has been finding additional things to add. The space above his dresser is now filled with shoe boxes — arranged in no particular order. The display is disorganized, but it gives a cool, rustic look, Hausman said.

Hausman also displays the shoes on a bookshelf in his room. Shoes have played a big part in his development. Hausman loved designing shoes on Nike ID with his friends when he was in fifth grade. It was an obsession for a while and is something Hausman still occasionally spends time doing. Shoes are 90% of your outfit, Hausman said. And shoes are the biggest part of his expression through clothes.

His passion for shoes is also what inspired him to take an interest in design and creating.

“Shoes were definitely an obsession,” Hausman said. “It still is, but it's dying off a little. It makes me sad because it's played such a huge role in my development as an artist and applying to art schools.”

Hausman has plans to release and design his own shoe one day. He has dreamed of designing for his favorite company, Nike, but his focus would be to create a design that is eco-friendly — post-consumer waste. He is not set on designing shoes, but whatever he designs will contribute to sustainability.

“I'd be happy designing anything creative that gives back to the environment,” Hausman said. “So I've got an open book. I just like creating.”

Hausman has diversified his creations over quarantine. He has been working on drawings and paintings of people and cars. In his room, he displays his own work but he finds that constantly looking at them gives him new perspectives. Hausman is able to view his pieces from a critical perspective which provides him guidance in the improvement process.

In May, Hausman tried oil painting for the first time. The first piece that he did — his favorite — is of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.

“[AOC’s] face is not depicted as a portrait,” Hausman said. “It’s more so a modern take on what her position in our government really means to the people that she represents, and her face is depicted by many different colors, representing all different backgrounds, neighborhoods, areas and all the different people that feed into New York which is the city she represents.”

Another piece that is hanging in Hauman’s room is a painting done on driftwood — he has been testing new things all throughout quarantine. He does not share his artistic side during school and finds that he doesn’t really hang out with people that take interest in art, and so he never gets the opportunity to share work with them, Hausman said.

Hausman also expresses his athletic side with his mini basketball hoop in the center of the room. The hoop is covered with stickers he has collected over time, and at the bottom of the net, Hausman tied a lace to secure the ball from falling out.

Hausman uses his mini basketball hoop whenever he is bored. It keeps him entertained since he has been attending his classes virtually from his room; in zoom class, Hausman will occasionally shoot some hoops.

Hausman’s room encaptures his whole life, and he has spent ample time making it into a place where he can truly express himself. It has all of his interests: sports, arts and school.

Photo Courtesy: Eli Hausman