Born near Tacoma, Washington, Lars grew up with nature and art playing a prominent role in his life. Some of his earliest drawings and paintings were made to raise money for mission projects at his local church. His mother was a high school art teacher and his father an amateur naturalist and door-to-door religous book salesman. In 1965 he moved with his family to British Columbia, Canada and lived in Victoria, British Columbia for most of his youth.
After spending 4 years pursuing a fine arts degree at Walla Walla University in Washington State, Lars returned to British Columbia and spent 5 years working as a gallery artist, painting landscape and wildlife paintings for solo and group exhibitions. During this time he had his first experiences working with digital media, taking his first digital illustration course in 1982 at Capilano College near Vancouver, British Columbia. From 1985 to 1991 he worked as an in-house illustrator for Pacific Press Publishing Association in Nampa, Idaho and was also actively involved in freelance projects, being represented by Jerry Leff and Associates in New York as a book and magazine illustrator. During this period he painted illustrations for national book and magazine clients and publishers like New Yorker magazine, McGraw Hill, Scholastic Books, Focus on the Family, Public Television, Pebble Beach Golf Club, and Avon Books, winning several national awards for his work in publications such as PRINT, Communication Arts, The Society of Illustrators, and Japan Creative Annual.
In 1991 he and his wife, Kim, started Justinen Creative Group, expanding into new media which took him into the world of creative direction and writing, and included the creation of large animated online training websites for the US Forest Service, the American Youth Soccer Organization, and the US Department of the Interior. During this period the Justinens had two children, Hannah and Stephen. In 2000 he and his wife launched GoodSalt.com which has grown into the world's largest online stock licensing site for Christian and religious art. In 2003 Justinen Creative Group started a branch of their company focused on custom photo portraits for the funeral industry with dodgeportraits.com.
Lars sums up his personal philosophy of art this way:
"... God created man in His own image." Genesis 1:27 There is something ultimately fulfilling in creating a work of art, I think most everyone finds pleasure in creating something and enjoying what our fellows create. The act of making something is, in many ways, a spiritual experience. “In the beginning, God created...” Genesis 1:1 -KJ