Melissa Dettloff’s work often begins in drawing and ends in screen printing, which she practices daily as a co-owner of Ocelot Print Shop, a community screen printing shop in Detroit’s Cass Corridor.
Ahead of her art-making demonstrations at the DIA on Sep 8 & 9, Dettloff sat down and answered a few questions for us about her art and what we should expect.
DIA: When did you first know you wanted to be an artist?
MD: My mom knew before I did -- when I was drawing all the time as a kid, she saw something in the drawings and enrolled me in afterschool drawing lessons.
DIA: How would you describe your art to others?
MD: On the surface, it looks fun and lighthearted, but there's often some sense of anxiety underneath it that I am either trying to work out or avoid.
DIA: Why do you make art?
MD: I enjoy the opportunity to get lost in the process of it.
DIA: What piece of the DIA's collection stands out to you?
MD: I love "Love Flight of a Pink Candy Heart" by Florine Stettheimer! I also like wandering around the Ancient Art section.
DIA: What can visitors to your artist demonstration look forward to?
MD: They can look forward to learning how the screen printing process works and how drawing can be a nice complement to that process, and making some fun prints!
DIA: What's your favorite place to go in Detroit?
MD: Belle Isle!