Now with pictures

This blog isn’t really working. Or at least not how I imagined it would.

I’ve been writing long format essays that start with a personal story and spin it into a business insight. In an effort to concentrate on the ideas, I haven’t included images or hyperlinks. Just words.

I was hoping to get an exchange going and maybe some feedback. I’ve gotten a grand total of a comment and an email.

I’m thinking the no images or hyperlinks part might be part of the problem. This is the Internet after all, the perfect marriage of words, sounds, images, moving pictures. And interaction. And to that point I haven’t done much to promote the blog either.

That changes today with this.

38 things I’ve learned over the past 38 years from Andrew Dickson on Vimeo.

Kate Bingaman Burt asked me to come talk to the Portland State Friends of Graphic Design Show and Tell lecture series. The prompt was broad, do whatever you want.

As you’ll see, I’m not a designer, so I thought about what I could offer the students that would be of most value to them. My gut said advice. Not big idea advice like “what’s the big idea” but practical advice like use coupons and you’ll live a richer life than you’re non-coupon using friends. And I came up with 38 pieces of it, one for every year I’ve been alive.

I gave the lecture to my own students in W+K 12 first a week beforehand, along with the assignment to each present their story in a unique way. Then made a few tweaks and gave it again at PSU.

And before you accuse me of speech recycling let me ask if you expect a stand-up comedian to tell different jokes every night or a rock band to write new songs for every show. I actually find that the second time I give a lecture or deliver a performance I tend to deliver it better than the first. So sorry, 12, but you did get the assignment too.

The lecture is about 40 minutes, as I give an explanation for each slide. But you’ll get the gist if you watch the minute long video I made from my PowerPoint slides.

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3 Responses to Now with pictures

  1. RCH says:

    Why can’t edit and make movie??

  2. Andrew Dickson says:


    Learning how to edit is essential to being a filmmaker. But as a filmmaker progresses, having an editor allows the filmmaker to see the forest for the trees. While an editor is cutting a frame here and a frame there, the filmmaker can pay attention to the bigger picture without getting lost in the weeds. I can also attest to the power of leaving an editor alone with your footage for a period of hours or even days. A good editor will find new and interesting ways to tell the story you might have never imagined left to your own devices. An editor is literally a second set of eyes.

    Case in point, here’s a video some of my students made last year.

    Believe it or not it’s their first film. They found a really good cinematographer/editor to make the film with them and I think it made all the difference.

  3. RCH says:

    Thank you for the thoughtful reply.

    I love to do every part of making a video, especially editing… because it’s the final word! And yet, it is sweet to know that each element becomes more sophisticated when people share the work together.

    I was so pleased to learn that Louie CK edits his own program. The content is cynical and acerbic, but through editing, people are shown in a very humane and forgiving light.

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