Born in 1955 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 taking a 4 year art program at Walla Walla University in Washington State, Lars returned to Victoria and spent 5 years working as a gallery artist, painting landscape and wildlife paintings for solo and group exhibitions. From 1985 to 1991 he worked as an illustrator for Pacific Press in Nampa, Idaho and was also active in freelance projects, being represented by Jerry Leff and Associates in New York as a book and magazine illustrator. During this period he painted dozens of national book and magazine illustrations for clients such as National Public Television, New Yorker magazine, McGraw Hill, Scholastic Books, Focus on the Family, Pebble Beach Golf Club, and Avon Books, winning several nation 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 and in 2000 GoodSalt.com both of which took him into the world of creative direction, writing, and New Media. In 2003 Justinen Creative Group started a branch of their company focused on custom photo portraits for the funeral industry with dodgeportraits.com. Today he, his wife, Kim Justinen, kimjustinen.com - also an artist - and their two children live in Nampa, Idaho where their businesses and studio are located. They oftern summer in Quatsino, British Columbia where they lived from 2002 to 206 while their children were in elementary school.
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