Art lecturer loves challenges of teaching graphic design, creativity to students

Posted December 6, 2013


Juggling a full time teaching job at a University, a freelance business, and a family of five is no easy task but, for Mariah Hausman, it is a part of her everyday life.

Mariah Hausman, 42, is a full-time lecturer at the University of Miami’s Art Department. She specializes in teaching computer software and graphic design. She has been teaching at the university for 10 years now.

“I love teaching at the university, but just like any other job, it has its challenges,” she said. “Teaching graphic design and software applications is challenging when working with students who often have a broad liberal arts focus.”

She explained that software is very popular these days and it’s hard to teach people to apply creativity to their work.

Barbara Scheer is Mariah’s colleague in the Art Department. They both work in the graphic design medium.

“Working as a faculty member with Mariah has been a very special for me over the past few years. Her dedication to her students and cooperative collaboration in developing our teaching methodologies show her outstanding qualities as a teacher and faculty peer,” said Scheer.

Before working at UM, Hausman worked at many different places as a graphic designer. Some of these places include Norwegian Cruise Lines and United Way of Miami Dade. She has even worked at an art consultant and designer for the Marley family.

Hausman grew up in Santa Fe, N.M. and was surrounded by all kinds of artistic media. As a young child, she realized her true calling was art. “I just knew,” she said.

After she was graduated from high school, Hausman decided to attend the Kansas City Art Institute in Missouri. Into her second year though, she felt unhappy there and decided to move to Miami where she finished her bachelor of fine art with a focus in illustration and graphic design at the University of Miami. She later received a Master of Fine Art degree with a focus in multimedia art. Right after she received her masters, she began her full time teaching career at the University.

While earning her bachelors back in the 1990s, Hausman began her freelancing career but it wasn’t until 2000 when she formed her actual business. She named it “Ital Art”.

“Ital means pure in Jamaican patois and I’d like to think of my art as being refined and honest,” she said.

She has always enjoyed working as a freelancer.

“It’s fun to work with different clients who each have a unique graphic problem that needs to be solved,” she explained.

Her freelance projects have lessened a bit because it has been harder since she begun her teaching career.

“It is hard to manage a freelance practice while teaching full time,” she said.

Hausman’s freelance work mostly involves book projects, but she has also done a full array of graphic materials such as logos for trade show booths.

Some major publishing companies that she has worked with include Random House and Simon & Schuster.

One of her most recent projects is her online Etsy Shop, where she sells artistic custom made items like candles, bottle-cap buttons, and bottle necklaces.

Surely someone busy with a family, students and clients wouldn’t be able to do art, right?


Hausman’s most profound and recent artworks range from palm sized to life size in scale. She likes to take images of famous people, like Jimi Hendrix, and paint scenes around the image of them. She said her art is “inspired by heroic and influential figures throughout history.”

She feels very close to her pieces and the figures she chooses for them.

“I am driven to illustrate and narrate moments in time. Sometimes these moments are real and sometimes imagined,” said when describing her art.

“I have always admired Mariah’s creative work, both as a designer and as an artist. Her ability to transform an idea or concept into stunning commercial design projects or fine art pieces is unique,” said Scheer.

Hausman also has many art pieces that are influenced by the Caribbean. During her teen years, she spent many summers on the island of Jamaica. This is also one of the reasons why she picked the word “Ital” in her business name.

The time she spent in Jamaica reflects in her pieces and she has done full series projects that correlate with the island that she holds dear.

Mariah feels that her greatest accomplishment in life is not her work or her teaching career, but her children. She is a mother of three children and makes sure she finds time for her family.

“My kids are creative and amazing individuals whom I am very proud of,” she said.

Mariah said her only hope for the future was to “find true balance of creativity and the practical sides of family and career.”

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