Formula Drift is back and Round 1 is in the books! We here at Driving Line are very excited with the newest 2015 Nitto Drivers, especially Tanner Foust - the Two-Time Formula Drift Champion who is back after a 6 year break from the drifting scene. But there was one man who was way more excited than us and his name is Deven Hitchens.
We've done profiles on builders, drivers, and collectors before, so today we will be featuring an artist. It was refreshing to see the big smile on Deven's face and feel the genuine excitement he had attending his first every Formula Drift event. And then when he learned he would be meeting Top Gear USA host Tanner Foust and drawing his Nitto Tire X Rockstar Energy Drink Volkswagen Passat drift car, he was almost in complete shock. At the end of the day he told us, "When I got up this morning, I didn't think I would be this happy by this afternoon!"
Before we dive into the awesome drawing he did live at Formula Drift, let's look a little into this special 22-year-old and his special talent.
Deven has always been captivated with the look of cars and expressed himself through pencil and paper, but his claim-to-fame started when he would regularly attend the popular Cars and Coffee event some 3 years ago or so. Living in downtown LA, it was a challenge for him to get down there, but he regularly made the 55-mile drive because it was "amazing" and not only did he look forward to seeing anywhere between one thousand to two thousand cars, but he felt it was the people who were some of the best you could ever hope to meet.
His C&C popularity was clearly evident at Formula Drift - I would say 4 out of every 5 people who walked up to Deven, as he sat in front of Tanner's Passat, would mention how they remember seeing him at Cars and Coffee and that they loved all of his drawings. In fact, his work has been recognized by more than just your average passerby, through his drawings he has had the pleasure of meeting celebrities such as Jay Leno, Chip Foose, Friedman Thomas, Steve Stanford, Stewart Reed, and Gordon Meadows.
Deven is a talented artist by skill, but an automotive enthusiasts by heart. We tried to go over what his favorite car is, but he told us it was one of the most difficult questions he usually gets asked. We compromised for a top 3 and he ran through an amazing list which consisted of a 1949 Delahaye, 1939 Bugatti Type 57, 1957 Chevy Bel Air. But what really blew me away was how detailed he was in naming the car he would love to own - a "1960 Cadillac DeVille, in black, slammed, with a red interior, 572 V8, 6 speed transmission, 373 gears."
When I asked Deven to come down to Formula Drift I knew I was going to meet a very talented artist, but I never knew how much of a great young man he is. He is well spoken, friendly to everyone, and very passionate about the automotive industry. While Deven might think he had a great experience attending Formula Drift and meeting Tanner Foust, I feel like I had an even better experience being able to spend time with Deven and getting to know his story. I thank him the most for making this Formula Drift event one of my most memorable and wish him only the best as he starts school for Transportation Design at the Art Center!
Keep on the look out for Deven at @hitchensartwork and make sure to following @drivingline to find out how to win Deven's custom drawing of Tanner Foust's Passat!
Check the video of Deven Hitchens doing drawing damage at Formula Drift: Streets of Long Beach: