Lawrence Karol grew up in Los Angeles, safely tucked away in the suburban sprawl of the city’s vast San Fernando Valley. (“Like, totally, dude.”) After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, he found himself utterly unprepared for the real world and at a loss as to what he should do next. Luckily, one day he stumbled through the doors of Architectural Digest and was taken under the wing of legendary editor Paige Rense. She had the vision to look past his uninspiring sociology degree and his general lack of experience. An unlikely journalism career was born.

After Architectural Digest was swooped up by Conde Nast, Lawrence found himself a transplanted New Yorker. His magazine karma still intact, he was hired by yet another publishing legend, the food critic and writer Ruth Reichl. During their time together at Gourmet, Ruth came to refer to Lawrence as “the Voice of the People.” Every time she looked at a cover suggestion, she’d declare, “Let’s go see what The VOP has to say.” How awesome is that?

Lawrence continues to ply his trade as a freelance writer and editor. A passionate lover of design and shelter magazines, he lives in an art-filled, midcentury-inspired condo with his crazy and very energetic dog, Hazel.

For an in-depth look at the ins and outs of Lawrence’s exciting multimedia career, see below: