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Leading with Grace: A Q&A with Grace Moe

Paul Matthew Brown—Sept. 13, 2017

Grace Moe, 17, President of the Associated Students of Clark College (ASCC) and Washington Community and Technical Colleges Student Association (WACTCSA) Representative for Clark College is slated to graduate both high school and Clark College with the class of 2018. She, along with her fellows in student government, are beginning their training for their year-long terms in office. I approached her to inquire as to what her plans are and where her initiative stems from in order to highlight young people who strive to improve their lives above and beyond their peers.

Q: Let’s start with the current aims for student government. What are some of the initiatives you guys will be working with this year?

…Last year they decided this year’s ASCC should have food drives, so we’re gonna start doing food drives in October to get students to bring food, know more about how they can help or how they can utilize the penguin pantry resource, which is just open to students..

The other thing is textbook availability… we’re really trying to make textbooks more available to students who can’t afford them, maybe lowering prices if we can.

Q: What made you get involved??

A: I found out that Clark has scholarships, they have food available to student, tutoring, all those different resources—and then I found out that not that many students actually know about those resources.

So that’s why I wanted to join student government—to really make sure that people found out about how Clark can actually help them while they’re on campus. Many students simply go to class, and then they go home.

Q: Can you tell me how you got interested in student involvement in the first place?

A: Last year I did a committee called the S and A Fee Committee, and that’s kind of what got me started with the whole planning of Clark Resources. And that was really interesting because we found out how the money was being used from the students’ payment throughout campus.

Q: What made you curious enough to do that, because that’s a nice little bit of initiative—what are you looking to major in and do?

A: I’m majoring in business, and so I like following the money. I like to know what’s going on with my money, where is it being taken—and so knowing where the money was being put and knowing how I can utilize those resources was really important to me, because I don’t want to just put money into student life, and all those different clubs and organizations and not know how I can utilize them.

I thought about minoring in mathematics because I really like math and I think it would help if I was going into finance, as that would really help. I thought a little bit about psychology if I was going into marketing, because those two work really well together

Q: Long term, what are you looking to gain from a personal development sense in doing this?

A: Honestly, long term for this job, I really am interested in developing my leadership skills. There’s a lot of high school and college jobs that are more just like kind of temporary and you know your employees but you really don’t know how to work with them. I thought being on student government would really help me build how to be a team player, and make sure everyone’s needs are being met—that was really the biggest thing. Also, just having this on my resume is a huge deal to me, because I really love building my resume and letting future employers know what kind of experience I’ve had.

Q: What’s driving you in this direction, as it seems atypical for a person of your age?

A: …I was always really interested in infomercials and stuff. People always flip through their channels, but whenever the things like the “shark master” vacuum came out and I was like, “Oh my gosh, yes!” I think it’s just really interesting how you can promote products and sell them to people…And I like watching money and where it goes and everything. It all just really relates to business…I love love love math, but I’m just not a science person, so engineering and all that wasn’t really my thing. So business really just stuck out to me….

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add, perhaps advice for people who are also looking to improve?

Something that really just pops into my mind is: Get involved. There’s just so much benefit to getting involved. Wherever you are, whether it’s your job, your school—everywhere! There’s just no downside to getting involved…and being organized.


Raw (and cooked) Video Footage

The following are several videos I have taken in order to illustrate that I can, in fact, upload things to YouTube. A couple I have  fiddled around with already, but it’s likely I will use some of the footage from the more cooked vids as B-Roll.

The first is an ugly dog on a rope:

The second is a bunch of footage of me in Japan with Japanese VO (spoken by yours truly):

Final (mostly) Illustrator Logo

Here is comes, so prepare yourself, because I am about to explain the hell out of this project and my current situation (regarding the “mostly” part of the title):

First off, what you will see later is NOT my intended logo, but rather my final logo about two steps before it was slated to be complete. After messing with Illustrator quite a bit, talking to my graphic designer friend, James, and farting around with new ideas during class, I had sent what you are about to see to myself to finish upon arriving home. Expecting my fixes to be quick and painless, this minor procrastination didn’t seem like a poor idea, as I had a short window to get to my advertising class and access the online test in their “safe wifi environment.”

Long story short, my PC, the computer capable of running Ai (Adobe Illustrator, if you are unfamiliar with the program or the acronym used in it’s logo) too a perfectly timed shit on me by deciding to come out and tell me it had a problem some 50-60 characters long. Being somewhat of a dunce when it comes to the actual mechanisms of computing, I gave up trying to fix it after about 20 minutes of different boot techniques. WAIT! That story wasn’t short! (you’ll get over it.. in time. I promise 😉 )

Now that my disclaimer is out of the way, let’s get to the business of discussing my design process, how it relates to my topic, and then get down and dirty in the details of how I actually made it (and what I WILL do to update it in a later post.)

My “design process” was less of a process of design and more like a kid playing with paint for the first time after having watched others do so in the past. Developing the fine motor skills required to wield the paint brush, or in the literal case the initially disjointed artistic tools Ai offers via mouse and keyboard, was key to creating something on purpose, rather than on accident. I needed to create something with design in mind, albeit limited design. I admit, drawing symbols or logos was uncommon for me growing up. Rather, I just drew my own face thousands of times. 😉 That’s not an exaggeration, by the way.

As you will see below, my initial designs were centered around hexagons, 45 degree angles, and my initials. Have these simple goals allowed for flexibility in my learning process with the program.

woof practice

As you can see, there’s a lot of P, M, and B types of shapes and some lovely colors. This was play time. Kudos to you, by the way, if you notice two wings and a tail in this box 😉

After messing around with the shapes and pathways tools, I started messing with the pen tool, knowing that it was a VERY flexible tool for the thoughtful and knowledgeable artist/designer. I started making eyes, feeling sort of lost in the sauce that is the Adobe suite. Once again, I am reminded of how little I know.. about really anything. You will understand once your eyes behold what I had wrought in my next experiment:


As you may have noticed, the eyes are a bit pointer than your average person. I did this because I wanted to combine the image of an eye and a bird. As you can see on the very bottom left of the image, the eyeball, iris, under eye wrinkle, and top eyelash are all things a bird could have in a profile view. This was probably my first attempt at getting creative with the tools. The iris being the the whole eye of the bird, the under eye wrinkly being the lower beak (and a suspiciously fishy beak it is) of the bird, while the upper lash is the stunning mohawk. HA!  Also, if you look to the right, I made a big dumb green thing. It was either a smiley face, looking up toward the left, or a really garbage looking dog. If you can see it, I am proud. If you cannot, I am not.

Then, after talking to my buddy for a while, during some co-op in the game, Destiny, he gave me some pointers and ideas. This led to my (almost) final product. The shape I was most proud of creating, which could be used to produce each of my initials, was the key.

The 3 shape, if altered correctly, can actually become every letter of my name, but more realistically, and with less alteration, each of my initials. Also, I always thought it was neat that it could be a 3, a B, a W, and an M. (Three was my favorite number for years, btw.)

So if you scroll up, you can see that my coolest shape was a double hexagon I had put white blocks onto in order to visualize a concept.

In short, I stuck with my dual nature sort of theme with this logo. The earth and the sky. brown and teal, dreams and reality. The change in color scheme gave me a chance to explore a slightly different theme, than psychological duality. In this project, we explore the duality of the commonalities of mankind. We all have an ideal, and we all have a reality that slaps that dream in the face. (figuratively of course **no dreams were harmed in the making of this logo**) I could expand on this idea for quite a while, but this isn’t a concept which is uniquely me, as was the last final project. Rather, this one is both me and the human collective. The term, “wouldn’t it be nice if _____” comes to mind. I don’t need to explain it.


potential final draft 2

I DO need to explain the technical process though! So here it is, a quick version of what I did for this logo:

So, I took my favorite shape, it was a hexagon, pointy end down, combined with a twin in order to cut it at a specific point. I did this using the pathfinder tool. I then made a rectangle and cut that shape in half, flipped it both verticaly and horizontally, and then made a tool of measurement for the gap in each little body. I ensured this gap was equal to the gap between the juxtaposed shapes. Notice the top of the shape is a “P” shape. This P only exists by cutting the B (or potentially “M” shape had it been rotated 90 degrees). Because the top became an independent thing, it deserved its own color. A tealish blue. The bottom of course is a brown I thought looks nice and light and flat. My last name IS Brown afterall. Regardless, I turned a shape (3,M,E, or W) into a P by cutting it in half. I know this is rather shallow in comparison to my first project, BUT LET ME EXPLAIN!

Had I had access to my PC (which I constructed myself… hence its regular failure. HA!) I would have turned these colors into a shared gradient, thus giving these shapes more of a relationship than the currently have.

I will post THAT unofficial final at a later date. THANKS FOR READING! And my apologies for being anticlimactic.. this is foreign territory, mate.

Rough (ROUGH) Draft Logo

Unlike my first project, in which I used Adobe Photoshop, this project has much less direction. I am making a logo to represent my topic, which is me (once again). For acknowledgment of how vain or stereotypical that sounds, please refer to my Photo Collage rough draft post.

My processes for both projects were quite different, and that was directly correlated to my experience with each program. With the photo collage on photoshop, for example, I had been fooling around, albeit lightly, with the software for about 6 years. Ergo, when it came to creating a collage, my primary focus was on the plan, theme, and design aspects. I didn’t really have to puzzle over the technical aspects, as I had grown a level of familiarity with photoshop and could “wing it” as it were.

However, I have only done the tutorials posted below for Adobe Illustrator so all of my time using the program have been me just fiddling around with the controls and trying to figure it out. Luckily, I think some (SOME) of the skills I had from photoshop carried over, which is nice, but not effective enough for me to create a product I am satisfied with. HERE IT IS….:


Now that you have seen it, it is likely that you also see there is no real theme besides the colors and shapes. Yes, those similarities are nice to have, but they don’t tell a story, or illustrate much besides my affinity toward 45 degree angles, and hexagons.

For this project, my process was exclusively experimental. Every time I would turn on Ai, I would simply fiddle around with the tools. Well, today I inadvertently made a cute chevron/wing shape by cutting up some hexagons. I decided, after hours of playing with the program, to create a bird with a brown head that also resembles the shape of the letter “B”. My last name being brown, I thought I might as well make a bird shape as it would allow for three arrow shaped cute chevrons to point toward the brown B with one of my favorite colors inside. (GREEN EYE)

I ended up thinking the project had a somewhat cute look in the end, however, I would NOT want this as an actual representation of my OR my company.. which I currently don’t have. I will focus more on the creative side and try to keep it simple and effective for my final. I look forward to presenting something less embarrassing.. I BRING SHAME TO MY FAMILY!!

Adobe Illustrator Tutorials

Woof. These account for my first ever earnest attempts at creating something on Adobe Illustrator. Maybe photoshop is easier, or maybe I have simply had a lot more practice with it. Either way, these took much longer than I had expected. Though my skills and ability to adapt are truly to blame, I also have a cheap mouse, so any hand drawn stuff within these will likely be jagged as all hell due to the jumpiness of my imprecise “value” travel mouse.

Please, feel free to judge me, or even give me tips! The latter being what the internet was created for and the prior being what it has become known for 😉

Final Graphic Collage

My final graphic collage is a test of my photoshop skills and ability to visually portray an idea. The idea here, is that there are always two sides to a coin, and the duality of human beings is something that should be understood from the inside out. Basically, if one can understand one’s self, they have a much higher chance of understanding others, solving problems, and improving the world and their personal lives in a holistic manner. For more information on my feelings on the matter, please refer to the post JUST below this one. There, you will find the reasons for my choice in art and photos, and hopefully come to understand this seemingly self-centered project I have created.

Upon reading my peers’ feedback, along with my professor’s, it has come to my attention that I left a little too much to the imagination and left my canvas a bit empty. The general consensus was that my lower left and upper right corners were nice in conveying their point of balance and the dual nature of self, albeit in an overly minimal way. They felt I could display a bit more of that contradicting nature with that space and that it was a missed opportunity.

In response to this critique, I inserted what I have found to be highly influential: Language. On the left side: Logical and independent, reinforced by my time as a Marine, I inserted a repeating quote. The non-commissioned officer’s creed. An NCO in the military is basically your lowest level of management and is attained once one can prove to their superiors that they are worthy of leadership. I was an NCO for over half of my time in the Marine Corps, and it’s something I worked very hard to achieve, both physically and mentally. In other words it means a lot to me and represents a large portion of who I am at this moment.

On the right side, the black side, of my collage, you have my creative and playful side. Fittingly, I inserted the dialogue from Monty Python and the Holy Grail into the barren space. One of my favorite scenes, the lines hiding in the highly opaque lettering are the exact words of my favorite scene from that movie: when Tim the Enchanter points out the killer rabbit just before the end of the film. I used this dialogue to represent that side of me because it too, is highly representative of that side of my self. Humor, playfulness, and irony, all rolled into one. HOW FUN! Growing up as a chubby kid, I had to develop a good sense of humor in order to compete for a place in the unspoken competition for status and mating rights. Ergo, humor too, is paramount to who I am.

After deciding on quotes that would more accurately reflect the story I am trying to portray through the collage, I added to lines to keep the eyes from drifting. Using the same color scheme as before, green and its inverse, I created two blocks to reach behind the lettering and connect the center to the photos. on either side. Hopefully, this will encapsulate the visual cues I have created, and reinforce the northwest to southeast flow I have established.

At long wait, here it is 😀 I hope you enjoy viewing it at least a fraction of how much I enjoyed creating it!

EDIT- [September 20, 2014 — 4:15pm]

It turns out my primary computer’s monitor runs a bit dark (it’s an old hand-me-down) and I have been told me left edits are impossible to view unless you tilt your monitor a lot. So I went in and made my left edits about 15% less opaque. Now, I present to you, my FINAL final edits. Sorry about that!

collage draft 3-Recovered

Until next time: Goodnight, and good luck



Graphic Collage Draft

For this week’s assignment, I have made a graphic collage about my blog’s subject matter: Me. However vain, or even narcissistic that seems is for you to judge. But, please, give me a chance and I can explain!

First off, the primary theme of this blog is me. It’s a decent first blog theme, as I have plenty of stories to share, of which I happen to be the subject matter expert. Whether those are embarrassing adolescent experiences, near death experiences (usually caused by a stupid decision), unrequited or unfulfilled love stories, or simply observations I have made as to the nature of human beings, I have no other wealth of information as great as I do about a subject matter as I have for myself. Perhaps this makes me a typical member of Generation Y. Perhaps it means I lack creativity. Or perhaps, it is an action caused by a lifetime of seeing how conflicts arise between two or more parties of people who lack a mutual understanding for one another.

In such cases, even if both parties know each other very well, communication tends to break down when it becomes apparent that one or more of said parties doesn’t understand him or herself. If one does not understand one’s self, any sort of critique or comment regarding a certain aspect one lacks a personal base knowledge of will erode the discussion and devolve it into an argument. Though an argument is a small scale conflict and may appear to be something unimportant about which to ponder, it represents a failure in one on one discussion, the foundation on which larger conflicts may be settled. Ergo, I think it is imperative to understand myself to both build a better tool box of conflict resolution skills, and improve my interpersonal relationships.

Below is my first draft of the graphic collage project:

collage draft

Now that you have seen it, let’s go over the original art used, the photoshop concepts I employed, and my basic ideas regarding my choice in design and style of the overall collage.


  1. All of the art present is mine. I took the photo of the Marine recruit crawling under the barbed wire in about 2008 or 2009 while I worked as a public affairs specialist at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. Though not a photo of me, it represents a big part of my life and illustrates the kinds of things I was able to do on a regular basis. Though I was a Marine for only four years, it changed me fundamentally, not simply through it’s unique culture, but also due to the fact that it was how I spent my first four years as an adult.


The naked man was a drawing I made a few years ago as an exercise in creating the human figure without any model or photo to copy. It was a proud moment, as for the most part before that specific drawing, I was horrible at capturing human proportions accurately. Visual art has been a part of my life since about 2001, though this drawing was the approximate moment I learned to like my own drawing style. NOTE: I still don’t finish 95% of my drawings and have not done it much in the past two years. The trees and waterfalls within the two naked drawings of me were taken on a hike/camping trip with my best friends. Another important experience. Notice the brown back ground (a color I choose to represent my “center” for reasons that should be obvious) and the inverted colors of the upside down me. This is representative of the dual nature of so many aspects to life. Id and Ego, known self and unknown self, presented self and withheld self, etc.


The photo on the bottom is me at comic-con in about 2009. Though I was still a Marine, it represents my nerdy side, or my childish side. I have loved star wars since about 1996, and since then, I have continued to develop (probably too much) my playful and dorky aspects.


  1. In the Marine photo on the upper left, I increased the contrast and darkened the photo a bit, as the dust tended to blend everything together. I then put a layer of black and white over the young recruit and ensured his emphasis by showing the modern colors of his uniform and brought attention to his exceptionally bright brown eyes by erasing the black and white layer over those.


For the drawings, I erased all but the harder shaded spots so they would reveal a transparent background, increased their contrast as well so the darker shades would pop, and slid the waterfall into him. I flipped, reversed, and inverted the purple one as part of my theme. I also made the green in the waterfall photo a bit more vibrant so that it would more accurately reflect the way that hike felt. Green is also my favorite color (just barely in front of red– my two personality colors, surprisingly.)


And the photo of me at comic con was a more subtle change. I blurred out everything but my hand and face, cropped it to better fit into the rule of thirds, and fiddled around with the levels to give it a bit more of that bright lit show-room floor look.


  1. Lastly, the theme being duality, things are very split here, yet also balanced. White and black split by a neutral color. Green and it’s odd inverse pinkish purple, top and bottom. Marine life, a masculine and aggressive and structured way of thought juxtaposed by nerd/fun life, childish and so lacking in structure, it’s almost sick! (I am kidding)

Then there are the two mes, looking at my various aspects. No one side is dominant here, though I suppose one could argue my fun hike would be cause for saying the contrary. Yes, it was fun, but it was an 11 mile hike into the woods where no one was. Fun, lovely, difficult, dangerous, and semi structured–as there are a few things that must be done if you want to live through the journey 😉 Jokes aside, these things are seen at my core, as it represents a portion of the emotional, intellectual, and cultural foundation on which I build from. Also, I just didn’t have any cool photos of my family to put in there.

Photo Collection

These are some photos I am thinking about using in a graphic collage project. All of them are either of me, or taken by me.

What is this blog? Why do it?

As you may have read from the “About” section of this blog, my name is Paul Matthew Brown, and I am a student at Washington State University as of the publishing of this post.  I have created this blog in order to hone my skills at creating an online persona and maintaining an effective online presence through the use of blogging and the creation of multimedia content.

Due to the broad reasoning behind the creation of the blog, I figured it might be wise to allow the topic of the blog to remain equally opaque. This blog will simply be about:


Still here!
Still here!

I won’t be writing hundreds of boring stories about pooping my pants, nor will I be complaining about not being the studliest young lad at my old high school. Rather, I will share some of my most memorable experiences by making a collage, likely full of recent and old photos alike and reflecting my life as an adult. This is including but not limited to my time as a Marine Journalist and Clark College student.

I will then make a logo which will be a first, as I have never used Adobe inDesign before. Likely it will reflect some of my favorite things, or perhaps even a bit of my philosophy, if I get creative enough with the tools at hand.

Later, I will be messing around with video and audio editing, and as that will be farther in the future, I will likely be using a lot of video game audio and video to showcase my play style, personality, and share my opinions about current software and hardware.

All of this I plan on making a fun and productive learning experience that will push me toward three of my career goals and help me grow more as a person and less as a PROCRASTO-BOT.

Those three goals are:

-Video game journalist

-Video game industry Public Relations specialist.

-Voice actor.

I will try to set it up so comments will be easy to make and even easier for me to receive. Please feel free to leave any feedback or critique and I would be happy to attempt to learn from it–however, if you feel like being a jerk, perhaps go read a Yahoo News article, because they love that sort of thing there ;p



Close to my home town of Vancouver, WA. I love our geography here, but I won't marry it.
Close to my home town of Vancouver, WA. I love our geography here, but I won’t marry it.