Lazy Thinking

By Morgan Bricca October 6, 2010

“I can’t do it” never yet accomplished anything; “I will try” has performed wonders. -George P. Burnham

Last week I went to a conference called West Coast Green in San Francisco. The focus on the conference is green innovation for the built environment (homes, suburbs, cities, etc.) I came away totally inspired by the speakers. Not just what they said, but the way they were thinking through really big and scary challenges in front of them.

It also brought me to a realization about myself: I have become a lazy thinker. There are many situations – politics, math, technology (especially when it is not working right) where I try to avoid engagement, I hide behind something like “I am an artist, I am not supposed to know/care about this”. I started out the conference thinking, as an artist, I am not sure what I can bring to the discussions on greening our cities. What impressed me about the conference was the diversity of backgrounds of the speakers, who were engaging in solving big questions, that required knowledge of -or at least engagement with – a host of disciplines. A theme that came up in the conference was how we can learn from the diversity found in nature. Diversity of thought given to a problem can strengthen the solution. It’s easy to sit off to one side as say, what does this have to do with me? I can’t do this. That shuts off all opportunity of growth in the community, as well as personal growth. “I will try…” Wow, the door is open.

I always felt like I did not get a strong basic education. I question whether this story is true, or if I adopted it because I was afraid I was not very smart and needed a good excuse. My husband can do mental math like nobody’s business, something I never learned. It makes me jealous. The good news is, now with my children in 1st and 3rd grade, I am enjoying getting a second education vicariously, through their homework. I am really impressed with how they teach math these days. Both my children have about two pages of math worksheets each night, with maybe 10 problems. They introduce a new concept, and then quiz them on their understanding of that concept in 5 or 6 different ways. Visually (draw a picture), by estimating, with a word problem, with algebra (rewriting the problem in a new way, with the unknown in a different position), and by presenting the same concept in different formats. I think it is brilliant! I can imagine that as they grow up, they won’t be thrown off by the form of the question, they will have so much experience with seeing ideas expressed a variety of ways.

Two books I have enjoyed recently on learning: Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin and Mindset by Carol Dweck. Both these books point to the importance of embracing challenge. They have both inspired me to spend more time in the uncomfortable space of not knowing, but being willing to take on the challenge.

During the West Coast Green Conference, once I resolved to begin thinking of my business and life plans from a bigger lens, I had all sorts of new ideas. I am in the middle of sprucing up my garden, and I realized I wanted to go with all native plants, so I can see caterpillars and butterflies, birds and bees play in my yard. I decided that rather than just reproducing my art on “green” wallpaper, I could take it a step further, and put wildflower seeds in the paper so you could mulch and plant the artwork when it’s life as wall art was done. I am inspired to focus my custom mural business on large scale nature scenes, first of all because that is what I love to paint most, and it is also a great way to celebrate and nurture a love of nature in urban settings. My new target: To be the Wyland of the terrestrial world.

Who knows, maybe next time my computer throws me an error screen, I will try to fix it myself instead of throwing up my hands and moving to something else until my husband can fix it. I think my husband would concur: that would be a welcomed miracle!

Here is my latest painting:

mural image

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.


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.


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.

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