Drawn to Detroit is a collection of free-hand drawings. Both original drawings and digital prints created by Detroiter, Leah Carroll. Inspired by Detroit and its history, beauty, charm, and tradition. Leah started Drawn to Detroit as a result of an assignment from her Graduate Program at Wayne State. The process of creating the freehand drawings became a therapy in between the grind of work and school. Redirecting her to one of her true passions, drawing. Drawn to Detroit is a way to explore the city and give reverence to the landmarks, hot spots, classics, and iconic-must-visit places! Each drawing is created in real-time, viewing the building, and or by a photo taken of the structure in its current state. Drawn to Detroit shares both drawings and how many are “drawn” from near and far to visit the comeback city and its renaissance!
See Detroit Through Leah’s Eyes
The DIA is not only a beautiful structure in the city of Detroit, but it offers so much value to the community! The Detroit Institute of Arts was one of the initial 10 drawings I created as part of my project in graduate school. This project, little did I know, was the beginning of Drawn to Detroit. The beauty of the fountains, sculptures and detailed architecture make you stop and stare and it is easy to lose track of time exploring each exhibit inside.
The Masonic Temple always takes my breath away! The Gothic Revival architecture that towers over Cass Park makes a statement from miles away. Detroit’s Masonic Temple is home to a handful of theaters, ballrooms, and banquet halls! From the moment I saw the Masonic Temple I was captured by its character and striking architecture. The Detroit Masonic Temple is the world’s largest and a must-see when in Detroit!
Whether you are a Lafayette or American fan, I think we can all agree that a trip to either Coney Island on Michigan Avenue, is a must when visiting downtown. Both have served coney dogs and fries to Detroiters for over 100 years! I couldn’t go without including these unique rivals in my portfolio of drawings.
Belle Isle is a slice of paradise outside of the hustle and bustle of the city and with one of my favorite views of the Detroit skyline! One of my favorite places to explore on Belle Isle is the Anna Scribbs Conservatory. With its beautiful dome shape and arms that stretch out, surrounded by gardens and a coy fishpond….it is an unforgettable sight to see! One that truly drew me in and inspired me to get to my drawing pad!
One of the things that I love about Comerica Park is that it brings so many people to the city and downtown area. When I first drew Comerica Park, I chose to focus on one of the main entrances of the park. Since I love a good skyline and Detroit buildings, I was eager to create an illustration from inside the ballpark.
The Fisher Building – “Detroit’s largest art object” is truly remarkable! This building is one of the largest buildings that I have drawn. This piece was commissioned by the director of the Food Bank Council of Michigan. Its stature, ornate architecture, and beauty inspired me to take the challenge head-on. To me, the Fisher Building is a must-see in person! Whether it’s to walk around the structure or enjoy the beauty and shops inside, it does not disappoint!
The Renaissance Center towers over the Detroit River and is a group of seven connected skyscrapers. I was immediately drawn to the Renaissance Center because of the height and strength that it exudes. It was no easy task to create this illustration, however, it was worth the time and effort. As I like to say, the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward.
The Fox Theatre is one of my favorite theatres in the city. Its structure and marque are what I am immediately drawn to. Not to mention its breathtaking beauty on the inside! We are truly spoiled with the number of theatres in the city. Each is different in its own way!
The Michigan Central Train Station is one of the first freehand illustrations I created back in 2019. I sat on a blanket in Roosevelt Park and counted every single window to make sure I was doing the building justice. Since then, the building has seen a lot of transformation, but the breathtaking views it shares with Corktown, and its surrounding neighborhoods will never change.
The spirit of Detroit is an iconic figure that is familiar to many. If you have not visited the Spirit of Detroit, it’s a must! Located right next to Hart Plaza and the Riverwalk, there are so many sights to see and events that happen in these spaces that bring culture, art, and life to the city.