St Edward’s Catholic Church, Clifford
11:30 Friday 2nd December 2022

Book of Memories

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19 entries.
Lynne Lea
I only met Joshua twice in my local The Hogs Head, New Earswick he was absolutely lovely, such a handsome lovely, friendly lad, we talked about his unusual denim jacket and his art work and I said I would follow him and I have. Beyond shocked to hear of his loss, my brother took his own life last August so I understand the demons. Sleep in eternal peace Joshua.
Ellie Cavanagh ( Starkey )
I met Josh in primary school and spent all those years playing together in the playground. Even so young I remember his smile and how kind and caring he was. He was infectious. I remember many evenings and summers playing in the little woods near our houses. I've not spoken to Josh for many years but have always remembered him with love, admired his work and am so saddened he's no longer here. Much love to the family left behind.
Jayne Anita Smith
Tony and I were devastated to hear of the death of Joshua. I met Joshua when we shared a studio together,his encouragement and positivity shone a light on all of us who had the good fortune to meet and work beside him. My fondest memories are when he stayed with us in Cornwall, sharing my home,
making art and enjoying walks along coast. One evening in particular comes to mind,on a beach in St.Ives sharing a bottle of wine and watching the sun go down over the sea. His pure joy of having the beach to ourselves, the light reflecting on the sea and gentle lapping of the waves is a memory that I will cherish. My other lasting memory was at the end of an evening in Manchester, we had said our goodbyes at the station and Joshua and his Mum, Mary, departed, hand in hand skipping into the distance. Thank you Joshua for the precious time in your company, you will be greatly missed. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.
Nicola (Moira’s daughter)
Mary, Mark, Katie, Emma, Brendan & Luke & extended family

I can’t find the words to say, I’m devastated to hear this very sad news. I always remember Josh when you lived in Colton. Every time I was round at the house he was always shouting “mum, where’s my football socks” and hurrying to go out even if he just had one on! . I’d like to leave a poem for the family for a well and truly talented young man:- A life that matters:-

What will matter is not what you got, but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success, but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others.
What will matter is not your competence, but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when your gone.
What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you, ❤️
Mary & Mark Leader (Mum and Dad)
Joshua's Life Story (lets keep it alive!!)

Joshua Van Leader – 17.10.1991 to 4.11.2022

Early Life:
Joshua was born on 17th October 1991 in Leeds weighing in at 11lbs. He was the youngest of five with two older sisters and two older brothers. His early years were spent living in Colton on the East side of Leeds and being amongst so many cousins and friends in the local area that helped shape his very personal and cheeky character. Josh was very much one of the Colton lads and just loved playing in the woods building dens as well as a whole range of sports on the local field near our home, that is still know today as ‘Leaders Wood’.

Having two older brothers that played football and were strikers it was no surprise that when the jumpers went down to make up the goals Joshua would be told to get in the goal and from then his goalkeeping talents commenced.

After playing for his local Colton team Joshua started to excel and ended up playing for Leeds City Boys at under 10, he then moved onto Leeds United Academy where he played in goal for 5 years to under 15. Joshua was released from Leeds United because he wasn’t tall enough (he eventually became 6ft 5inch) and then moved on to play for York College in the English Colleges league, where he forged a lifelong friendship with Craig Allen. Joshua then set his sights on completing his education and a Soccer scholarship in the States. During that time he did grow and ended up also playing for one of the Manchester City Youth teams and enjoyed some great tournaments in Spain.

At 18 Josh was offered a soccer scholarship in Tennessee for Tennessee Wesleyan College and studied a sports related course. We had some great times watching Josh play across Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina. As you know the legal age for alcohol in the US is 21 and we laughed when Josh got caught drinking once with a few beers after a game and then having to attend the US version of AA (which he found funny) until he was also ordered to clean the court house toilets (which he found less funny).

Josh also spent his first summer there playing for Georgia Revolutions a semi pro team in Atlanta and the guys were so proud that year to win the league with a new team, the team spirit and the characters in that team was quite special.

But after two years the sports course was not doing it for Josh and a calling to other places and professions were reaching out. Josh came back to the UK and through his contacts at Leeds United headed for Adelaide in Australia to play semi pro for Adelaide Rangers.

Josh spent a year in Adelaide and I would probably say that this was one of the happiest periods in his life. He became very friendly with Jackson who also played in the same team and then Jacksons whole family adopted him, his second mother Mamma Lou as he calls Louise, also Ian (Louise’s husband) and their three sons Jackson, Piers and Clay. They became his brothers.

Josh moved in with his new family and lived in a small building that overlooked the sea, which was the start of Josh’s love for the ocean and the strong connection it had with him.

Its’ in this period that Josh started his love for art and men’s fashion. He would drive mamma Lou crazy with doing his early art work, the flamboyancy resulting from much of the paint going on the garden patio. Mamma Lou would also take him to the second- hand clothing shops to buy jackets that he would pimp up and sell.

I remember speaking with Josh on skype and could see his love for men’s fashion and we agreed that if he wanted to do this then learn how to do it properly and try and get a second scholarship on the west coast of the US doing men’s fashion.

At this stage Josh had also dropped the ‘I’ in his middle name Ivan and he became well known from that point as Josh Van Leader, his business idea had also been born as JVL. Although Josh did like people to think he was Dutch he settled for the English gentleman instead.

He jumped on a flight to San Francisco headed for the Academy of Art, I knew he had a good chance of convincing the coach as Josh was a very mature goalkeeper at this point but we had no clue how he was going to convince the men’s fashion faculty, but they had no idea what was on the way.

San Francisco & Los Angeles:
Josh did convince the Coach (Mike Keller) and also the men’s fashion faculty, although we still to this day don’t know how, as he had no previous men’s fashion experience. He started on a five year degree that he incredibly completed in three, working most evenings, summer and Christmas holidays.

The work he completed there was truly inspiring as was his networking that had expanded down into Los Angeles making clothes for a number of high profile musicians.

Josh only played football for two years for the Academy of Art as his head injuries and multiple concussions had caught up with him, a thought to this day makes us wonder whether his head injuries caused or certainly contributed to his very deep and dark depressions that were to follow, we will never know.

Josh’s graduation was a special day and we met another of Josh adopted families through a good friend Lilly from Paris (with Holly and Eduardo, Lily’s parents), Also Josh forged a special friendship with Christoph from Bulgaria, he had acquired so many amazing friends and contacts from around the world.

Josh’s ambition to drive his JVL label had momentum that he didn’t want to stop and he rushed into a chest operation in San Francisco (pectus excavatum) as he was having breathing challenges. Unfortunately the operation didn’t go well, the surgeon inserted a bar into his chest, which was later removed in the UK and from that point onwards Josh suffered from constant daily pain, which he had to the end.

Joshs mother Mary stayed in San Francisco to help Josh after this operation and recalls a late night visitor in the hospital, the Academy of Art Principle, Simon. They went for coffee, Simon did not realise the extent of the operation but was spitting feathers with Josh, the arrogant ‘beep beep beep’ has turned down design houses for Niki, Adidas and Burberry, no-one turns down these design houses. But of cause Josh had his focus on JVL and was very much his own man. Simon mentioned in that conversation that his room- mate when he was at college was Alexander McQueen, an iconic fashion designer, and Josh just reminded him of Alexander, they both drove him crazy. That was a common theme with Josh he could drive us all crazy but everyone loved him to bits.

The Troubles Years:
Josh’s constant pain from his chest and the deep dark depression he was sinking into, was getting the better of him and he returned home to the UK from Los Angeles.
Let me quote one of Josh’s poems that describes how he felt:
I cried and crumbled
I felt desperate
that the addiction
and depression
was stronger than me,
that it had a hold on me,
I was in the bottom of
some well, deeper than
my mind and I was
not only lost, but alone.
A numbing darkness that
feeds on my doubt and
relishes my worries

Most people at this stage would have completely crumbled, but not Josh. His mother convinced him to continue with his artwork so together they cleared out the summer house and he started to paint again before getting a studio in East Street Arts in the centre of Leeds.

Over the past five years Joshua has created an unbelievable collection inspired by the Ocean and the Blue Planet, some of the pieces are enormous and amazing when you see them in person. He has written four books, three volumes of poetry ‘somewhere between the sand and the stardust’ (the last one just recently published focusses on mental health) and a colouring in book aimed at mental health and uses one of his latest art collections based on mythical gods. Josh has also done many line drawings, where the pen never leaves the page, of which the spaceman drawings have been used in a clothing collaboration with Harry (from Commonsense) of which I was privileged to attend the cat walk exhibition only a few weeks ago. Josh also had a number of other collaborations where his art work was being displayed on wall rugs (Xiavier Black) and pottery pieces (Sandra).

He also maintained that love of his early men’s fashion getting second hand denim jackets and re-cycling them, adding his art and poetry, he has around a dozen in his studio in Leeds.

Josh was also in the process of producing a documentary on his own mental health challenges and how it impacted his past and present life as he knew that would help others. What we did not know until after his passing was how many people Josh had helped with their own mental health, he had saved so many people, we have been completely overwhelmed by the bow wave of comments and feedback over the past weeks. A sporting/coaching quote we would talk about in his earlier life was ‘a true champion is bent over the side of the road, dripping with sweat when no-one is watching’. Josh applied this to helping others with mental health challenges through his own experiences, he helped others when no one was watching.

This is the quality and achievement that our family are most proud of and it is this legacy that we will keep alive. Josh’s work will not collect dust in a local warehouse, his books will not lie quietly hidden within the Amazon web site. We will use Josh’s story and all of his work starting with his documentary and then moving to an exhibition to raise the JVL profile that we will be used to help others. His story is inspiring and it will continue in all of our minds and hearts. If you want to get involved then please contact us as we will need lots of help.

The Person & The Character:
I hope that Mamma Lou does not mind me sharing some of her personal thoughts that she wanted to share with Josh through a letter that she has written to him, I think this summarises the feedback Josh has had over the past weeks:
Your talents were endless
You were such a special human being and charismatic soul that gave so much to so many, and touched the hearts of everyone you met, more than you will ever know.
Your smile was magical and it lit up the room.
Your laughter was contagious.
Your sense of humour was infectious
Your friendship was unwavering
Your generosity of thought for others was constant
Your kindness was so genuine
Your fashion designs were original artforms
Your artwork was phenomenal
Your poetry was moving
Your presence was palpable
Your absence is devastating
Your legacy will be eternal

He touched so many people even if he only met them for a short time, let me share some feedback that we received from a gentleman that he met the day before he passed for only 15 minutes:
A tall gentleman walked in, acknowledging everyone in the bar. He seemed to know everybody, and everybody seemed to know him. He chose the stool next to me and started to engage in conversation with me after he ordered his ‘rum and coke’.
Through our conversation I found out that he ’s an artist. I asked him if he had an Instagram account that I could follow and he was more than happy to share it.
A few minutes later he finished his ‘rum and coke’, he said goodbye to everybody, and left.
Later on that night, I checked his website, his story and his art journey. I was fascinated. I was so excited to chat with him again about his art.
This afternoon, while I was scrolling on Instagram, I saw a post on his account.
On Friday evening this gentleman took his own life.
His name was Joshua Van Leader.
A man that touched my life in 15 minutes, I was so excited to meet him again but he was gone.
It shook me to the core.
We don’t realise how fragile life is and what demons everybody fights.

Parents Message to Joshua:
The last thing that we have to share is for Joshua from myself and his mother.

The price of love is grief. We loved you Josh unconditionally and endlessly. Our pain will be with us until our end but we are happy to carry this as we have those amazing memories and experiences with you that we will cherish and will over shadow our grief.

We are so proud of all of your achievements, especially the gift you had to help others when no-one was watching.

You were such a special, beautiful person, the gap you leave is huge but your memories are bigger, we will honour your legacy as you knew we would.

We are proud that we can call you ‘our son’.

This is the wonderful and amazing life of ‘Joshua Van Leader’.
John & Suzanne Strudwick
We will always remember the year Josh spent in France for the way in which he embraced life here and the things he enjoyed doing......not least his skill at serving up lovely pizzas.!
We never realised, until we listened to Mark’s moving tribute on Friday, of all the things he had done and achieved in his short but full life.
He will be greatly missed by all whose lives’ he touched.
Imran Syed
I met Joshua in Los Angeles through another good friend of his and he immediately conversed with me as if we've been friends for awhile. He had an amazing energy about himself, a sort of a star that beamed. I didn't know much of Joshua's work but by his exceptional character alone, I wanted him as a good friend. I believe we met up again and then he left Los Angeles. I followed Joshua through instagram and kept in touch with him on and off with the intention of visiting him, capturing that energy and viewing his body of work.
He always struck me as a unique individual who followed the beat of his own drum, and you couldn't help following that beat as well.
I always wished well for Josh and wanted to see his work hanging in Galleries here in the U.S., especially at Art Basel, as per our last conversation.
It hurts deeply losing Joshua. Such an amazing soul, now gone. My prayers go out to him and wish for great patience for his Mother, Father and siblings.
I met Josh at Garforth, he used to catch the same bus as me home and he quickly became my first high school crush. He could literally light up a room and just had this infectious smile. We became good friends over the years, so many laughs.

I remember one time hanging around with him around Colton and we happened on a horse in a field and we were trying to get its attention and all of a sudden it neighed really loud and set off charging at us so we both screamed and ran as fast as we could haha.

We kept in touch when he moved and always tried to arrange a catch up when he was back in the UK but always seemed to miss each other by days/weeks.

We finally did manage to meet up. He bought me flowers and chocolates, just for being me, like the gentleman he was. We met at Colton Mill for a coffee and a catch up. Was like we’d never been away from each other. I’d also had a coffee with him in town with my mum, who hadn’t seen him since high school and she said she could have sat and spoken to him all day. She always used to ask after him.

We had some funny FaceTimes whilst Josh was in the US too, as due to the time difference, I tended to be just getting home from a night out drinking. We chatted for hours about art, fashion, his plans, he sang me Budapest by George Ezra and some Justin Bieber songs. I’ll always think of Josh when I hear Budapest.

He was honestly one in a million. A wonderful, kind, amazing person and I feel lucky and privileged that I met him and I could call him my friend. I will never forget him xx
Sam Giles
I always remember in performing arts at school Josh's singing and dancing to Walking In Memphis. He was always the life and soul of the class. He will be missed so much by all
Performing many plays with him he was always a good laugh, he always put a smile on everyones faces
Amy Hsu Tzu Chen
Joshua and I had two classes together at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. When we had the first class together, we didn't really get the chance to know one another or engage in conversations; however, the way he spoke to the instructor showed a great sense of humour and wittiness, which left a lasting impression on me.

During that summer at a drawing workshop, despite the fact that we didn't really know each other, he went out of his way to lend me paper without me even asking just because he saw my distress when I ran out of mine. That was when I saw how kind and compassionate he was.

It wasn't until the next summer that we had the other class together and eventually became closer friends. It was also the first time I got to see his projects. I was immediately amazed by his unique way of illustrating and presenting his ideas, and I decided to take up the courage to tell him how much I loved his work, which led to one of the best conversations about art, music, creative process, and even the ocean, the piano, and personal pains.

It was a privilege to meet someone like Joshua. When I worked alongside him, he taught me to stay focused on one's own individual path, to find one's own voice, and to be disciplined while enjoying the process at the same time. He also taught me to be mindful of one's words and actions. Whenever we had arguments because of some misunderstanding, he would always choose to apologise first no matter who was at fault. And when we walked on the streets, he would always give food to homeless people and talk to them with respect.

When he moved back home, I was just moving to Paris. We were both going through a challenging phase of our lives, and I am very grateful that we were able to support and inspire each other through our work, poetry, and encouraging messages. Whenever I doubted myself, he always saw the best in me and helped me believe in myself more. I often felt painful when I couldn't take away his pain as much as how he did for me.

Another fond memory was that he told me he would name the animals he encountered at his garden, including Harry the hedgehog, Robert the robin bird, and Oliver the owl. It was beautiful to see how he admired and loved the Earth and the living creatures around him.

Now that he has joined the stars above, I hope that all the love he had given has found a way to circle back to him. I hope he is now as free as Peter Pan. And all my prayers go to Joshua's beloved family, friends, and Milo. I am forever grateful for his existence.
Preslav Kostov
To Josh, his mother and his father,

Thank you for all of your kindness over the last few years.

I met Josh and his dad in 2018 on my first shift at a side job whilst studying at art school. We instantly struck a connection over our shared interest in painting. Josh and I spent a lot of time pondering the mess of painting. He was always a supportive friend as I was quietly going through my darkest times.

Thank you for all of the memories and the laughs. The windy toasts that I could never keep up with and the FaceTime games as we went through lockdown alone.

You will be dearly missed.
Holly Niemela
I met Joshua in San Francisco through my daughter Lily when they were attending the San Francisco Academy of Art in 2015. What a love or LUV as Josh would prononce it! I loved his accent. I loved how he inspired Lily. I love how he made me laugh.

Over the years he visited our family and we all became attached to him at some level. My husband and he had a sweet connection through their personal styling--very classic with a twist.

Josh was so funny and clever, talented and exceptional in so many many ways. He touched so many of us, deeply.

To his Mum and Dad, his siblings, nieces/nephews ... he spoke of you all often with a huge grin and full heart. It was really lovely to see a young man so happy to speak of his family with that deep affection. I am so sorry for your loss. I am so sorry for us all to have lost this boy man from our physical plane--it's a terrible loss and hurts to our bones! I know in my heart he's with us somewhere if we just take a moment to connect to our inner world and meet him there.

Love ya dude.
Michael Hatzifotis
It was such an honour to meet you in Hong Kong, you’ll be greatly missed by everybody. May you rest in peace
Laura Westbrooke
My beautiful dear friend, Joshua Van Leader. Where do I even begin?
Josh was and will always be one of the most genuine, caring, talented, driven and warm-hearted souls I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and loving.
I am so lucky to have crossed paths with this wonderful person who had the most captivating energy and spirit. He would literally light up a room and make everyone feel comfortable as well as make every single person feel seen and heard.

We met about 4 years ago, in the building where we both worked. He had an art studio down the corridor from my office. For a number of weeks, we would walk past each other, smile and say hello. He had the most infectious smile. After those few weeks, one day he invited me to see his artwork and we just talked about life. I remember being so in awe of him, his experiences, determination and passion for life and art.
At the time I was teaching art to adults with learning disabilities. The following week, he kindly donated a big bag of art supplies for us to use. That was the thing about Josh, he always wanted to help and bring joy to others where he could. He was truly selfless.
Our friendship blossomed from there and he not only became my dear friend but family.

Josh was always so real, so raw and so unique. He lived to go against the grain and he did it beautifully. I will forever cherish the memories we shared together.

Love you always xx
Western Bonime
Joshua or Joshua Van Leader as he liked to be called, was and always will be, extraordinary. When I think of him, what stands out the most to me, is his love of beauty and his belief in its power to change the world.
I first met him at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco in 2013. He had just taken the brave leap from soccer star to fashion design student and I had just taken a brave leap into teaching at the Academy. The institute had handed me a boring book-led business course and asked me to turn it into an interesting fashion business class for first year students. I was teaching five sections of a brand-new, untested curriculum and understandably nervous.
Joshua was one of those students who make it a joy to teach: engaged, eager to learn, brilliantly creative and hardworking. My standards were high, having come from years in the tough, unforgiving world of fashion and the even tougher standards of Parsons School of Design in New York. I pushed students to not just complete assignments, but to think beyond the scope and demanded high levels of innovation. Joshua jumped in with two feet, giving his all and creating work that was best in class.  His joy and enthusiasm helped me to overcome my anxiety.
I soon discovered we were peas in a pod united by our love of beauty and our belief in its power to transform the world. Both deep thinkers and poets, aware of the world and of life on a level most people don’t bother to notice or realize exists. To be such a person in this life is to be sensitive, something that defeats and subdues many artists, but Joshua possessed a rare combination of sensitivity and confidence. He was not only brilliant, but had business savvy and knew how to promote his work. You knew he was destined for greatness.
Over the next couple of years, we often passed each other in the halls, me on my way to teach, he on his way to a class… and stopped to chat and to share our challenges and dreams. I also worried about him because his drive had resulted in losing 20-30 pounds working endless hours on his designs. He always brushed my concern aside, often showing me another tattoo he’d gotten instead. Almost all of his tattoos expressed phrases or poems about being a good person and inspiring others, words he believed in down to his bones and shared with the world through his skin.
In the Summer of 2016, I invited him to be a judge for the students of my middle school’s fashion show and he arrived as always, dressed like a modern English squire. That was Joshua, at once modern and traditional, at once charming and quietly private, one minute writing poetry that brought tears to your eyes and the other brushing aside his challenges with his humor and a quintessential English “stiff upper lip.”
It was this mix of old and new that won him Joe’s Blackbook for his English menswear collection with a modern rapper style twist that featured various colorful and multi-textured interpretations of Northern Alaskan Art. It was one of those collections that made you go “yes!” It is hard to explain why some people are genius designers and others are not. It takes the ability to mix ideas in ways that absolutely capture the essence of that ideas emotions and artistic message. Only a handful of designers can do that. McQueen, Galliano, Commes des Garcons…Joshua, had he lived on, had life not sent him the challenge of so much pain, would have been amidst their exalted company.
While still at the Academy, he had to have heart surgery at the age of 26 that for some reason didn’t go right, and which, over the ensuing years the doctor’s couldn’t figure out. Years of pain went by and he struggled, his loving parents always by his side, supporting him. Despite the pain, Josh bore everything with grace and never let the pain slow him down. He took up painting huge abstract paintings and began reaching out to art galleries in New York and Europe. He started an Instagram sharing his deeply moving poems and beautiful sketches.
It was around this time that I first met his parents. They came to San Francisco, and we drove all over the hills and bluffs of San Francisco and I fell in love with them immediately… his gentle, kind and soft spoken giant of a father, his petite, funny, “take no prisoners,” mom and his funny wise-cracking brother. Joshua could not have come from a nicer family or parents who supported him more. As part of that support, they took him home to the UK to heal. Soon after that, he moved home to the UK.
The distance made it harder for us to stay in touch or see each other as often as we had at the Academy, but  I spent a week with him and his parents at their home in the Summer of 2018. We spent many lovely evenings in the garden, all of us laughing as bottles of wine quietly disappeared. We drove to some of his favorite places on the coast and sat quietly on the edge of the ocean watching the seagulls in companionable silence or wandered the gardens of a nearby castle. I saw him again a few weeks later, when he visited London and we sat in the park talking and laughing about the ironies of life and sharing our dreams like we always did. I saw him for the last time in 2021 when we drove up from Newark to spend a lovely afternoon. He seemed happy then, wandering in with his new girlfriend and talking about resuming his fashion line.
I wish I’d known he was in so much pain, both mentally and emotionally. I would have reached out more. He leaves so much behind, his compassion and humor, his incredible drive, his unquenchable passion and his unerring sense of how to do in exactly the most perfect, incredible way. He leaves behind my memories of him, full of surety standing before a 15’ canvas at his art studio, sitting quietly and thoughtfully on the cliffs by the sea. I will miss him forever.
Matthew Pasquinelli
My heart goes out to Joshua’s family. Joshua was a very special light. He always radiated light, he was always positive. He always saw the good in every situation or challenge or person he met. I was his goalkeeping coach here in America. To say that we were close, would be an understatement. He was son to me in many ways. We also were very close spiritually. In many ways he helped guide me to God. I am so great full to him for that. Joshua will forever be seared into my heart and soul. I love him very much and I feel lost with him gone. He would always tell me “ I love bro” before he hung up. The last we spoke 4 days before he left us, he told me “ I love you bro”. I didn’t say it in return. I will forever regret that. Joshua—- I love you bro. Til the end of time, and then beyond.
Sending love and blessings to the family🙏🏽

I met Joshua in San Francisco 2015. We instantly hit it off. Joshua was designing clothing out of a studio in the Tenderloin SF at the time. I was also designing clothing and opening up a storefront. We began making clothing together, and displayed our collaborations at the storefront. 🖤

Our relationship became strong very quickly. I would come by the studio for artistic development and to bounce off ideas for more collaborations. Sometimes I would just go to watch Joshua in his element and try on his clothing (which I always wanted to keep). Joshua was always iffy on letting his pieces go. He was very connected to his art, which is only right especially considering that he was styling famous rappers, models, and other creatives. I remember one time he invited me to the Hollywood hills to rapper Wale’s house. I was always sooo inspired by Joshua’s artistic, hustling, and caring nature.

I miss picking JVL up and driving around SF blasting music, singing, laughing. I miss the styling sessions in the underground design studio. I miss you saying “BANGARANG” everytime we met up (quote from the movie Hook which we loved).

It was a difficult time when Joshua became ill. I remember sitting in the car at twin peaks and discussing how our lives were going to take us on different paths, JVL back to England and me back to LA. Our friendship would always be strong but distance is always difficult.

I cherish the time we got to see each other in LA 4/20/2017 at the opening night of JVL & PaperMachine exhibition. I CHERISH the outerwear piece you made for me. I finally got to keep one of your amazing wearable art pieces and it will always be with me.

Thank you for making an impact in my life and so many others.
I am very grateful to know you brother


Love always,

Rebecca Hake
Dear Joshua’s Family,
I have been continually praying for you and thinking about you during this time and the days to come. I know personally how much he loved his family and he adored you! He loved sharing stories of you all and your love. Joshua’s parents are some of the most lovely people and I was so happy I got to meet them when they would visit Joshua in America. From the moment I met Joshua at TN Wesleyan I knew instantly we would become friends. He had the purest heart, most beautiful smile and a contagious positive personality. When I was around him I felt so happy and inspired to be me and pursue the things I loved, he was such a great motivator. He loved others so well and he was loved and admired by so many people. He truly was one of the most talented people I’ve ever been around and I was in awe of his talents. I am so grateful I was able to call him my friend and I will forever hold on to our memories and times of laughter together. He was a wonderful person and truly inspired me to love life and love others. He will always be missed. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers always.
With my deepest love, Rebecca
Lauren Buch
Joshua was a wonderful incredibly talented artist, but most importantly a hugely kind humble soul. A real friendly giant. I’ve never quite known anyone who cared for others and was always a helping hand quite like Joshua. I feel so so blessed to have known Joshua since I met him through my sister just before the pandemic and to have made so many memories in such a short time. From endless nights at the pub or nights at our house round the campfire singing songs, you brought so many good times to my family. My favourite memory that I will hold so dearly forever was when Joshua took me and my partner to see Wicked the musical in London earlier this year. We laughed, sang and even cried together listening to the power of “Defying Gravity” live. That song will now always remind me of him. Thank you Joshua, for the incredible memories that you’ve brought to me, my sister and my family. The world won’t be the same without you, but your legacy will live on. My prayers and love go towards all of Joshua’s family and close friends, stay strong and keep smiling.