To say it was a sad day today at Pixar is an understatement. Justin Wright, a talented story artist here at Pixar died last night due to a heart attack. Justin was only 27. He was born with a number of heart defects that ultimatley resulted in a heart transplant at age 12. He grew up painfully aware of his own mortality. Perhaps it was this knowledge that made him so passionate and enthusiastic about everything he did. Or, more than likely, that was just Justin. I only knew Justin about a year, and only got to work with him for a few months. In that time, I learned that he was a brilliant artist and a gifted story teller, as is evidenced by his blog; Charlie, a deck Hand. . He was also quite the guitarist, able to not only write songs, but seemingly play the entire Dave Mathews catalog. (He was a HUGE Dave Mathews fan, a fact that earned him no end of ribbing among the Pixar story crowd). It goes without saying that Justin was a nice guy, but he was more than that. He was kind, warm and endlessly encouraging. I'll miss playing pool (badly) with him. I'll miss hearing him walk around the halls, strumming his guitar. I'll miss teasing him about Dave Mathews. I'll miss him admonishing me for not owning an Xbox 360. I'll miss his "Dude! Sweet!" when he sees a drawing he likes. I'll miss not getting to know him better.
My heart and my prayers go out to his girlfreind Ashlee and his family.
See you around, Justin.