Lawrence Ulrich

Detroit-native Lawrence Ulrich was born into a family of autoworkers — “my grandfather worked at the Dodge main plant and had the missing fingers to show for it,” he recalls — but didn’t follow suit, at least at first. “I played in rock bands and was on the road a lot, until some of my friends started an underground magazine called Orbit,” Ulrich says. “I started writing for them, and that’s when the light-bulb went on.”

Now based in Brooklyn, Ulrich covers automobile trends such as the environmentally conscious luxury cars detailed in this issue (“Electric Avenues,” p. 136). “The green thing is becoming a badge of status: ‘If I can afford anything, then I can afford the best technology,’” Ulrich says.

The head automobile critic for the New York Times, Ulrich also writes for Popular Science, Automobile, Car and Driver and Details.

Pete Ryan

At 30, illustrator Pete Ryan may be young, but he prefers an old-fashioned work style, as you can see in his art for Michael Kosnitzky’s column, “The Gay Tax” (p. 57). “A majority of illustration now is done digitally, and you know what you are going to get as a result,” Ryan says. “I think that takes away the magic.”

The Toronto-based Ryan prefers to illustrate more traditionally — and has the messy studio to prove it. “When you’re a little kid dreaming of being an artist, you aren’t picturing working in Vector,” he says. “You’re getting your hands dirty and seeing what happens.”

Ryan’s work has appeared in Businessweek, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Barron’s.

Jason Jennings

In Jason Jennings’ latest book, The Reinventors, which he adapted for this issue of Worth (“The Seven Rules of Reinvention,” p. 30), the author advises companies to change constantly — while keeping an eye on long-term goals. “What never changes is the big strategic objective,” Jennings says. “Look at Apple. The product line is constantly changing and improving, but what doesn’t change is what they are trying to accomplish.”

Jennings, who spent the first 20 years of his career in media and consulting, now focuses on writing and speaking about management and leadership. The San Francisco-based author has written four other books, including Hit the Ground Running and Think Big, Act Small.

Dave Plunkert

“I don’t think of my projects in terms of trying to make pretty pictures,” says illustrator Dave Plunkert. “I think of them as trying to create ideas that are going to resonate with the viewer.” Baltimore-based Plunkert did just that for this issue of Worth, as he created illustrations that depict “The 10 Things Families Fight About” (p. 62). He went with one of his primary looks — “a graphic block style that draws from comics, naïve art and printing processes” — and applied some “dark humor” to help bring life to the arguments in the piece. “For me, it’s an intellectual exercise,” he says. “Drawing is like problem solving.”

Plunkert, who has been working as an illustrator for nearly 20 years, was recently inducted into the Alliance Graphique Internationale, a group of the world’s top graphic artists and designers. His work has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone and GQ.


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