He’s gone…I have no other way to put it, but that he’s gone and he will never come back.
A few weeks ago, one of my closest friends, Arlyn, was a victim in a homicide. He and his mom were both shot and killed by his brother. His brother is Schizophrenic and saw or heard something that scared him and he acted out in defense, not realizing that it was his own mother and brother he was acting out against.
Arlyn was an amazingly beautiful person. He was a well-esteemed artist and lived his life helping young artists, like me, become better known in the art industry. He opened his gallery, Ogre Shop, about two years ago with the dream of being able to help others create a career in the art industry. He believed that everyone had an artistic ability and never believed anyone was a bad artist. He would put my pieces up in his gallery for free and he would give me all of the money if I sold a piece. He wouldn’t take any money for commission for having my art in his gallery. He told me that one day, I would be able to pay him back. He just wanted me to focus on my artwork more.
Not only was Arlyn a mentor, he was also an amazing friend who loved and cared more about others than he did himself.
I was never good at talking to people. I would either come off as awkward and shy or awkward and too talkative. It was hard for me to make friends. One thing's for sure, though, I can write. So, I will.
I met Arlyn four years ago at the San Diego comic con. I was passing by his booth with my dad when he caught my eye. He was working on one of the Sundance paintings. I stopped and watched him work. I didn't even know that he even realized that I was there. He turned to me after a few minutes and asked me "what do you think?" I was shocked that he even noticed me. "Who me?" I asked, stupidly. "Yah you." He replied and then waited for an answer. "I see the beauty in both life and death." He smiled and said "Good. Me too," then turned and started working on his painting again, all the while asking me questions and talking to me. We exchanged phone numbers and would text each other constantly. I told him about how I was also an artist and I would show him my pieces and he would help me with others and with ideas for future pieces. Even though I was awkward and had very bad social anxiety, Arlyn was patient with me. He was a true friend. The next year, we met up at comic con again and I spent most of my time at his booth. We talked more and showed each other our new pieces. After the con, we kept in touch through text and we would meet up a few times in person each year that went by. When my dad was diagnosed with both types of cancer, Arlyn was the one to text and call me every few days to ask me how I was doing and how my dad was doing. Arlyn was so selfless and kind. I absolutely loved him for the amazing person that he was. He was beautiful.
This piece is finally finished. I made this as a tribute to Arlyn. He saw the beauty in everything including life and death. The dying rose represents the beauty in death and the hummingbird budding out of it represents the beauty in life.
I've decided that the title of this piece is going to be The Good Left Undone. It is also the title of my favorite Rise Against song. I chose this title because in the song, the last verse is:
"All because of you, I believe in angels. Not the kind with wings, no, not the kind with halos, but the kind that bring you home. When home becomes a strange place, I'll follow your voice. All you have to do is shout it out."
I feel like this verse is true.
This piece is going to be donated to Arlyn's gallery, Ogre Shop. Eventually, I want his dad to have it. I miss Arlyn every day and I feel like there's this void in my life now. I don't cry often, but I've found myself crying and breaking down at least once every day since I found out. Even so, I know that he's still here with me in memories and I know that he's looking down on me and looking after me and everyone else who was touched by him in their lives. When I walked into the Ogre Shop on the day after I found out, I felt him there.
I wish I could articulate these words, but I know I would stumble, trip, and fall over them. There is so much more I wish I could type or say, but I know that my brain would jumble it and it won't come out the right way.
One thing I can say is that he is truly resting in peace since he lived his life doing something he absolutely loved and helped many people along the way.
We don’t know what is going to happen to his gallery, Ogre Shop. Arlyn’s gallery was not only his dream, but it was all of ours. When I saw my artwork up on his walls, I saw hope for my future as an artist. It’s my turn to help him. I’ve opened up commissions again and all of the money that I make is being donated to his gallery to keep his dream alive. If you’re interested in commissioning me to give to a good cause, please let me know. Send me a note. Thank you,