I moved to LA two weeks ago.
Before that I came to visit the city with my wife Elise.
In 2002 I taught a workshop at Winthrop.
Yesterday I found out that a new friend Justin Van Hoy had died.
I had just that day sent an invite to a few local friends asking them to come to an open studio of mine. Justin was one of them.
I met Justin while he was a student at Winthrop University. He was super tall with red hair and ahead of his time with talent. Then I think I saw him once between 2003 and 2012.
We got in touch when I decided to move to LA this year, so when I visited looking for houses, I asked if we could meet up for coffee. I really didn’t want to pull him away from his work. When I arrived at his studio, upon seeing him I instantly remembered that he was larger than life tall and his new bushy beard made the red hair seem even crazier.
I asked him to point out on a map some good neighborhoods for Elise and me to possibly move to. He stood up and said lets get in the car. He spent the entire afternoon with me, driving through winding roads in Pasadena, Echo Park, and so on. We talked soulfully about anything we thought of. He brings that out in you. He kept saying things like “it’ll all work out and fall in place when you move here” and “you might like this neighborhood, it’s quiet.” It was just an easy kindred kind of thing. I hardly knew him, but got to know his philosophies in life and what he truly cared for. I like that kind of person.
I liked Justin. And I looked forward to seeing him more, becoming a more regular friend, and seeing him tomorrow at my studio opening. He was a big reason I felt comfortable moving to LA.
I will miss a person like that.
Thank you, Justin