As you may already have heard, Justin Wright, friend, CalArtian, and Pixar Story Artist, passed away last night due to heart complications.
I sit in front of him at work, and it's definitely going to be hard to adjust to not having his great big laugh behind me. I really like the guy, you know? And seeing him on a daily basis necessitates a relationship based, in many ways, in little things that I'll miss: the crac! of his diet cokes, short emails, incessant "YEEEAH!"'s and "DUDE!"'s, guitar playing, iphone fiddling, and drawn out, passionate, enthusiastic, humble and totally earnest talk.
His drawings were to be envied, but also, I have a hard time imagining a person more in love with life, and more capable of showing it; he was certainly an inspiration for that too. I am glad beyond words that his last days and moments were bright, full of laughter, friends and HAPPINESS--he thoroughly deserved it. He was a really nice guy, in the TRUEST sense of those words--I was very privileged to have met and worked with him.
But I have to tell you that I HATE to write like this, like everything is past and over and like I am telling you the REAL deal, the TRUTH! about Justin Wright, a fellow who, I am sorry to say, two projects later, I only knew a little. I wish I had known him BETTER, and I am so frustrated at not being able to more clearly, simply and convincingly say that he was truly A GREAT YOUNG MAN, who I will really miss. I am sorry I am sorry I am sorry. I am sad I am sad I am sad.
My heart sincerely goes out to Ashlee and Justin's family and Justin's large contingent of friends; if there is any testament to the kind of fellow he was, it's that, perhaps, tonight the whole west coast is mourning.
Please see this CartoonBrew post for more links from friends.