Creative Insights from the Superbowl

By Morgan Bricca February 4, 2020

Superbowl LIV Halftime Show Inspires Deep, Creative Insights

Last night’s Superbowl was a roller coaster ride with a sharp, unfortunate plunge at the end. I am not a football fan (in protest of head injuries and cheerleader salaries), but I know which team was supposed to win last night. They played so well in the first three quarters! Sigh. We are still so proud of you for making it to the Superbowl, 49ers!

For the record, win or lose, Morgan is a 49ers fan.

OK, now let’s talk about the half time show.

I was at a Superbowl party with adults in the living room, teenage boys in the den, and teen girls in the garage. (?) Anyway, the teenage boys unanimously agreed the very sexy halftime show was spectacular, the pinnacle of entertainment. I thought it was pretty awesome too, and I agreed that Shakira’s hips, definitely, did not lie. The consensus among the moms was that they look forward to the day when the women are in the baggy jumpsuits and the men are wearing the bikinis. No matter what your takeaway, the show’s purpose was pure entertainment, and at that, it excelled. I was transfixed.

I have been thinking a lot about attention recently, specifically my attention and how it is commanded and by whom. I just finished reading Jenny Odell’s book How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy. She illumines the myriad ways the current economy thrives by attracting and maintaining our attention. Every biological, emotional, and cultural drive we have is manipulated by profit-seeking entities to maintain that attention outside ourselves. It’s a bit exhausting, don’t you agree?

On the food side of things, I’m all for donuts, but we all know that foods that actually nourish us come from unprocessed plants. Except that everyone also knows no one, ever, made a killing selling raw kale. Two days ago, I was pretty sure that drinking beer would not make me a kinder person or a better American, but after last night’s multiple (and well done) beer commercials, I am fuzzy on that point. My point here is that what captures our attention begins to define how we think, and consequently how we behave. And our behaviors are being manipulated for someone else’s best interest, not our own.

I’m almost to the part about murals, the only thing I actually know anything about, so bear with me.

Celebrating the City of Half Moon Bay with this commission for their main conference room at City Hall.

Celebrating the City of Half Moon Bay with this commission for their main conference room at City Hall.

Last year Spotify sent me a summary of what I spent my time listening to in 2019. By a large margin, I spent the most time listening to a single artist: East Forest. One of my favorite songs is Deliquesce, which is 37:48 minutes long. It takes guts to write a 38-minute song. It won’t even fit into most people’s commute. It is risky and ambitious. And I love it. You can unfold into it completely. Any hip-shaking would be done very, very slowly.

As an artist, I challenge myself to make art that nourishes and connects instead of just dazzling eye candy. I dream of painting the mural equivalent of that 38-minute long song. Artwork that you don’t get tired of because it draws you in; a mural spacious enough that you want to hang out for a while because it feels safe and nourishing.

Commission for the City of Half Moon Bay “Community Room”.

I paint a lot of different types of murals in a year, but it seems like most of my clients, even the commercial clients, hire me because they want that depth and spaciousness in the artwork. Instead of fast and flashy, competing with billboards for attention, I want to create art that resonates on subtler levels, that supports human-being. Often, it is the simple, low detail murals that end up feeling the most spacious.

Room to breathe for a daughter’s bedroom in this private home in San Francisco, CA.

A soft, feminine reinterpretation of the jungle theme.

My point is NOT to give up donuts or beer or love of Shakira. I will proudly continue to love all three. My point is to suggest that the onslaught of our attention by “money-making efforts” crowds out the deeper experiences available to us when we slow down enough to pay attention to them. The only problem with deep nourishment and satisfaction is they don’t cost much, so they are not hawked to our attention at increasingly high volumes.

I guarantee you do not read my newsletters because of the catchy subject lines. I know they could use more “How to get a flat stomach by eating this one food” flash. My hope is that instead of extracting your attention, I add value to your inbox experience and your day. Perhaps, eventually, the opportunity to add value to a blank wall in your home or community.  Either way, thanks for sharing your time and attention with me. Have a great week!

With love,

Morgan Bricca

Morgan Bricca

Morgan Bricca is a mural artist living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her clients run the gamut from professional creatives, including architects and designers to building owners, school administrators and community advocates. When she is not making art, Morgan enjoys sipping boba tea with her kids and taking naps on the couch.

WHAT CLIENTS ARE SAYING

Our entire staff enthusiastically appreciates the artistic transformation of our clinic. The kids here for medical services LOVE the murals as well. One of our young patients returned from emergency psychiatric services for a self-harm issue and when she came into our office she had a huge smile upon seeing the mural. It is amazing to all of us how immediately a depressed patient responded to the mural art.

It has been a pleasure to work with you. We love both your work and the positive environment and spirit you have instilled in our kids.  Once again Morgan, thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart.

Warm regards,

Chia-Chen Lee
Juvenile Hall Medical Clinic Pediatrics

Review for Juvenile Hall Mural Project by Chia-Chen Lee

Morgan blew it out of the water.  As a general contractor, I would say my decision to hire Morgan for this mural is one of the best decisions I have made in terms of impact of my work.  Every kid will remember this mural as long as he or she shall live. Watching a child see the mural for the first time is an experience words can’t describe. It’s mesmerizing to them. Adults too, for that matter. It’s a show stopper.  So much better than I could have ever imagined.

I would go out of my very busy way to recommend Ms. Morgan Bricca on every possible level, with no hesitation. Please feel free to call me if you are considering hiring Morgan but can’t quite take the leap. I will be glad to push you in.

Chris Carver
Aquatic Management Group
Raleigh, North Carolina

Mural artist review by Chris Carver

Morgan offers a unique collaborative approach with her clients. On our project, she struck the perfect balance; she listened to our ideas and feedback but very much maintained her role as the creative expert, making us feel comfortable the entire time.

I would absolutely recommend Morgan with no hesitation. With all that she has done, she is going to find the right approach for just about any client.

Jonathan Meyer
VP, Marketing and Community Relations
San Mateo Credit Union

Mural painter review by Jonathan Meyer

We absolutely love our mural! I anticipated that it would add beauty and a much-needed “nature element” onto our campus, I never could have imagined what a huge impact this would have on our school. I have seen countless children, parents, and teachers walk by in awe, totally captivated. Not only does it make our campus a brighter, more beautiful place to learn and play, it reminds our entire community of the tremendous importance of art. This is a gift beyond measure, especially in tech-obsessed silicon valley. Once again, you have exceeded my (already high) expectations!

You are so fun, inspiring and professional to work with and your projects in our kinder yard and now this mural have been my most satisfying collaborations on PTA.

Warmly,

Christy Flahavan
PTA President
Springer Elementary School

Mural Artist Review for Springer Elementary School by Christy Flahavan

The real value and pleasure of working with Morgan was that we connected with her. She was very personable, very sincere, very collaborative, but not one to sit back and let us lead it in a wrong direction. We trusted her completely from the past work she had done for us, and told her, “here is a wall, do something with it – surprise us.” It’s like dealing with a friend.

The murals she has created for us make our home more intimate, warm, and personal. I was surprised at how quickly she worked, how easily it got done, and how watching the process was enlightening. It just flowed; it was like watching a very large masterpiece being created before our very eyes. It was especially interesting when she got into the tonality and the tints. For us, it turned out better than we could have expected. I absolutely recommend her without a doubt.

Mural Painter Review by Sandy Bland

Morgan, the mural you created for our building has been a major attraction for both locals and visitors in Downtown Napa. The transformation of an eye sore, to a work of art, has been nothing short of amazing. I feel a little guilty receiving so many compliments for your work, however that doesn’t stop me from stealing part of your credit. Your attention to detail and sensitivity, bringing the Wappo tribe into the process, unified Napa’s residents with its history. This public recognition of the Wappo Indians is long overdue, reminding us all of a different time in the Napa Valley when nature and people could live harmoniously.

Every day, as I watch children and adults transported to an earlier time in the Napa Valley, I appreciate your ability to be the vehicle for their journey. I hope soon you will return to sprinkle some more fairy dust on another wall, so I can watch your magic talented creations at work.

Thank You,
Michael L Holcomb

Mural Artist Review by Michael L Holcomb

Hi Morgan,

We had an end of the school year party at our house and everyone raved about your mural. I see your name and date, 2012, on it and can’t believe it was 4 years ago.

Just wanted you to know it brings me joy every day.

Warmest,
Josh Weinstock

Mural Artist Review by Josh Weinstock

I have worked with Morgan on five mural projects at our house over the past six years. I love her work and she is a pleasure to work with. Once you see how transformed your space is by the first mural, it is easy to start seeing other rooms that could benefit from a “Morgan”.

Susan Wojicki
CEO, YouTube

Mural Painter Review by Susan Wojicki

Morgan’s work is exquisite. She loves what she does, works extremely fast, and is a true pleasure to work with.

David DaPonte
Architect, HKS

Mural Painter Review by David DaPonte

Without fail, anytime someone comes to our house who hasn’t seen the painting, they comment on it and how much they like it.

Adam King
Director, Intel Corporation

 

Mural Painter Review by Adam King