Ryan McAmis, The Economist, and the Face of the 21st Century
The Digital Age has done more than merely change how we interact with one another socially, it’s also reshaped the entire economy. With these new relationships have come new jobs, and some of those jobs are super niche. Emoji Designers, playlist curators, international tutors, all these specialized jobs (and hundreds more) are only possible thanks to our online culture. And some of them are a little hard to explain. The Economist recently started a series on the 21st-Century jobs and asked Ryan McAmis to help bring them to life. Each article describing the stories behind these particular careers is preceded with a 3D mixed media collage from Ryan that offers a characterization of the worker and their unique career.
Because Ryan uses a bevy of different materials, each creation is filled with different textures and colors, as well as surprising depth and emotion. Because of the sophisticated simplicity of the compositions, Ryan has to be careful about the choices he makes, and that affords him the opportunity to experiment a little bit. In the latest piece about the Emoji Designer, Ryan saw the chance to include a special light feature for the first time ever. He used a dollhouse light to give the designer’s phone a familiar glow. “I don’t know why, it just kind of pops into my head and it just works,” says Ryan. “And then after I photographed it, I tweaked it in Photoshop to make it look even better.”
Part of the fun of these pieces is introducing whole new careers to an audience that’s generally of the traditional capitalism and commerce model. Ryan similarly doesn’t run into these unique careers frequently, so he’s finding it to be an educational experience himself. By approaching it this way, he’s become the ideal voice to introduce The Economist’s readers to this newer edge of the economy. “I’m terrible with technology so the one I’m doing today I had to do a lot of research on so I’m learning a lot,” explains Ryan. “I’m trying to explain it to people that don’t know either.” All of us, whether we’re creating brand new jobs for ourselves or watching them form from the outside, are better served by actively pursuing a greater understanding of the new economic landscape. Thanks to Ryan and The Economist we can learn a little more every day.