If These Walls Could Talk
A podcast exploring best practices for creating successful mural projects.
Each episode is a deep dive interview with an art advocate or artist to understand the who, what, and why of community mural art projects. Join me on my mission to transform our urban environments from blah to beautiful, one wall at a time.
Jul 28, 2022
Ep 29: BAMP Founder Andre Jones
Andre talks about how his alias Natty Rebel has influenced his professional career, and what the nickname means to him. He also shares how he balances painting what inspires him versus what’s in demand for commissions. Finally, Natty Rebel discusses what it means to be an Art Anthropologist, and how that connects to understanding and valuing the communities he paints for.
Jul 27, 2022
Ep 28 Kada Goalen Minneapolis-based Mural Artist
Kada and Morgan unpack parenting while being an artist, and how having kids has shaped their work and home life priorities. Kada shares how has grown her business by hiring marketing support, how she defines success for herself, and why she feels she owes a lot of her success to her hardships. Finally, Kada and Morgan discuss raising your minimum, even if it scares you!
Jul 26, 2022
EP 27: Paul J Gonzalez, San Jose- Based Mural Artist
In this episode, Paul and Morgan talk about collaborating with artists of different mediums to get a new perspective, as well as how Paul got motivated to create through difficult times. Paul also discusses how his diet and lifestyle have shaped who he is today, and how they help him keep creating quality art. Paul is a 20-year mural veteran with who has painted over 100 school murals in the San Jose area.You can find Paul at: www.pauljgonzalezartstudios.com Insta @PaulJGonzalezArtist FB: www.facebook.com/PaulJGonzalezArtStudios/
Jul 12, 2022
Creating Artistic Spaces and Experiences with Rachel Wolfe-Goldsmith
In this interview, Morgan and muralist Rachel Wolfe-Goldsmith dive into the Bay Area Mural Project, why murals are their chosen medium, and how the up-and-coming world of NFTs is changing traditional avenues of art. They also talk about the Wolfe Den, Rachel's new social creative space in Oakland.
Jul 01, 2022
The Mural Artist's Audiobook: Chapter 8
"Protecting the joy and primacy of artmaking is an ongoing balancing act in the life of a professional artist" —Morgan BriccaIn the final chapter of her book, Morgan dives into keeping the artist happy! She explains how her criteria for selecting projects keeps her artistically challenged and fulfilled, and how to protect the fun of artmaking.
Jul 01, 2022
The Mural Artist's Audiobook: Chapter 7
"When bankers get together for dinner, they discuss Art. When artists get together for dinner, they discuss money." —Oscar WildeIn Chapter 7, Morgan dives into her greatest area of expertise: making money making art. Morgan discusses questions such as: how much should I charge for a mural? Should I set a minimum? How much will I earn? She covers the basics of setting up your mural business and lists 5 things you should do this week to grow your business. Morgan talks about her art/business balance, why she always overbooks her mural schedule, and drawing the line between passion projects and working for free. Overall, this chapter explains why the "starving artist" model is unsustainable, and explains the duality of being an artist and a businessperson.
Jul 01, 2022
The Mural Artist's Audiobook: Chapter 6
In Chapter 6, Morgan discusses art advocacy, finding public mural projects, and painting in public spaces. She introduces some of the practical and economic reasons for funding public mural art, and how to create an effective design in the face of community input that can stretch the artist thin. Finally, Morgan offers a case study that demonstrates the effectiveness of murals against graffiti and explains why varnishing to protect against taggers is often not necessary.
Jul 01, 2022
The Mural Artist's Audiobook: Chapters 4 & 5
In Chapter 4, Morgan explains why residential murals are the best place to start for an aspiring mural artist. She outlines 5 main tips for successful private commissions, and details how to set effective boundaries and expectations with clients. Morgan also dives into the design process, incorporating client feedback (she feels her clients have the best ideas!) and how to avoid surprises on your finished product. In Chapter 5, Morgan talks about all aspects of school murals: funding, design, student engagement, and artist's rights. She offers two case studies of school spaces that have been transformed by artwork, and finally, explains why schools can be the most hesitant to approve project, but benefit the most from the artwork.
Jun 30, 2022
The Mural Artist's Audiobook: Chapter 3
Morgan covers best practices for painting a mural, from materials, when to varnish, how to set up your space, to the physically demanding art of painting ceilings. Morgan also explains why you should buy top-of-the-line paint, what brands she recommends for different projects, and the "hidden skill" of mural painting.
Jun 30, 2022
The Mural Artist's Audiobook: Chapters 1 & 2
"Speak softly, but carry a big can of paint" —BanksyIn the first chapter of her audiobook, Morgan discusses the current mural renaissance, gives a lay of the "Wild West" of mural art, and explains how the reputation of murals is changing for the better. In the second chapter, Morgan tells the story of how she quit her IT job to start painting murals and why she chose mural art as opposed to other mediums. She addresses the aspects of a sustainable art career (hint: you have to make money) and why you shouldn't take another art class. Finally, Morgan talks about what success means for her and how mural art lets her achieve that goal.
Mar 02, 2021
The “community mural shaman” offers inspiring insights into how he removed blocks to his creativity and made the past year his most successful, despite Covid and his experiences with racism as major blocks he struggled through. Carlos walks us through his roots as a graffiti artist, shares why graffiti continues to be so important to him, and why his favorite way to spend a Saturday is with a blank wall at his disposal.
Feb 04, 2021
Who gets picked? And other controversial opinions...
In Episode 20 I discuss the imperfect selection process of choosing a mural artist. Since I am already poking a sleeping bear, I dive into three other hotly debated topics: 1. Spray vs. housepaint, 2. Why mural art is not meant to last forever, and that is okay, and 3. Exposure gigs. I use examples from my book, The Mural Artist’s Handbook, to challenge the status quo on these contentious issues.
Jan 27, 2021
Mural Joe: YouTube's Favorite Mural Art Teacher
Find out why Mural Joe, who never went to art school, is the most popular YouTuber for mural painting “How To” videos. Joe’s innate curiosity on how to realistically interpret natural phenomena through paint intersects with the quirky and endearing way he includes us in his discovery process. Mural Joe's entertaining videos defy typical art school pedagogy, for example, attempting to paint clouds with a stuffed animal. We discuss the organic development of his career and why he doesn’t advertise his mural painting services anymore, even as he stays busy with mural projects.
Jan 20, 2021
The Untapped Potential of School Murals
Back with a whole new season of fun, in this episode Morgan unpacks Chapter 5 from her new book, The Mural Artists Handbook, on why school murals hold so much potential as venues for creative mural art. She explains why she is so enthusiastic about school murals that she dedicated a whole chapter of the book to the subject. This podcast highlights the benefits of school murals and possible funding sources for school muralsVisit www.MuralArtistsHandbook.com to find out more about Morgan’s new book!
Dec 26, 2019
Morgan Bricca / Getting Started as a Mural Artist (Ep. 15)
I answer questions posed in an email from an artist in Portland, OR who wants to move towards mural painting. I wrap up this last episode in the season with a list of reasons why I love painting murals.
Nov 27, 2019
Alex Cook / You Are Loved Murals (Ep. 14)
Is it possible to be a rebel against street art culture? Alex Cook might be the first. His overtly loving messages and collaborative approach to his You Are Loved murals blur the edges between art and service, and bring a kind message into public spaces all over the globe.
Nov 22, 2019
Hanna Daly/ Hanna's Murals (Ep. 13)
Hanna has painted over 1000 murals in the San Diego area over the past 15 years. We discuss the details of “the hustle” including pricing, materials, physical challenges, finding more clients, and taking time off to travel and recharge.
Aug 01, 2019
Empire Seven Studios founder Juan Carlos Araujo (Ep. 12)
Juan Carlos Araujo brought Pow Wow mural festival to San Jose and has been a steady presence in the street art scene in San Jose since he founded E7S in 2008. We talk about diversity and inclusion, balancing making a living and being of service through art in the community, and the art of winning over mural skeptics.
Aug 01, 2019
San Jose Director of Public Art Michael Ogilvie (Ep. 11)
Running the public art program for the tenth largest city in the united states is no easy task. Michael walks us through how public art projects happen in San Jose, as well as the vision for the public art program in one of the fastest growing cities in the country.
May 24, 2019
Ink Dwell: Going big and finding partnership in the quest to cure "Nature Blindness" (Ep. 10)
Ink Dwell co-founder Jane Kim opens up about the challenges of running an art studio, taking on large mural commissions across the country, and nature education through art.
May 20, 2019
Creativity is Contagious: Bringing lessons from Burningman home to the suburbs (Ep. 9)
Software engineer by day and arts advocate by night, Jason Newblanc brought inspiration from his annual pilgrimages to Burning man back to his hometown, Redwood City. His efforts were the beginning of the transformation of “Deadwood City” to Redwood City: The Arts Destination on the Peninsula. The Commercial Way Mural Alley in Redwood City, a series of seven murals that transformed a blighted alleyway, was his brainchild. He believes creativity is contagious and that good art “pushes the edges”.
May 17, 2019
One success opens the doors for more: The transformation of Springer Elementary School (Ep. 8)
In this episode I interview Christy Flahavan, former PTA president of Springer Elementary School about how in the course of three years she transformed a boring, beige campus into a school bursting with art. She had a vision, and despite a retiring principal and lackluster support, started with one project and built on that success.
Feb 26, 2019
City Art Success Story with Chris Beth (Ep. 7)
Chris Beth, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Redwood City, shares how his town went from a ghost town to the most vibrant arts destination on the peninsula, reviving the downtown businesses and community engagement and vibrancy.
Jan 31, 2019
The Benefit of a City Master Plan with Amanda Golden (Ep. 6)
In this episode Amanda Golden, Principal of Designing Local discusses the benefits of having a city master plan, including identifying various sources for funding the public art, having a plan that individuals or businesses can participate in, the pull of art dense communities, and the magic of site-specific, context-specific artwork.
Jan 28, 2019
Artist's Perspective with Paz de la Calzada and Shannon Geis (Ep. 5)
Lunch break on the job site with artists Paz de la Calzada and Shannon Geis. We interview each other and cover money, the benefits of working with other artists, the challenges artist are facing in San Francisco and the benefits of painting over each other’s work
Dec 02, 2018
Public Art as a Catalyst for Social Change with Brad Maihack (Ep. 4)
Brad Maihack is on the board of zero1.org and founder of Social Venture Café. The topics covered in this podcast include: the importance of protecting the experimental, incubation phase of the creative process, the importance of collaboration and integration of feedback for public artists, and the potential for public art projects to create social change. Brad also fills us in about a new public art project he is embarking on in Sonoma
Dec 01, 2018
Supporting the Art Community in the City of Palo Alto with Elise Demarzo (Ep. 3)
Part Two of an Interview with Elise DeMarzo, Director of the Public Art Program for the City of Palo Alto. In this episode, we will discuss how Palo Alto supports its artist community and how they plan years in advance to integrate artwork into to the building process. We explore the fine line between accommodating the positive psychological impact art can have on a community and the merit of more challenging, thought provoking pieces. We also discuss the benefits of temporary art, and how a short time frame can allow for more experimentation and spectacle.
Nov 30, 2018
Engaging the Community in the Public Art Process with Elise DeMarzo (Ep. 2)
Interview with Elise DeMarzo, Director of the Public Art Program for the City of Palo Alto. We discuss how to ensure artwork is site specific and relevant while avoiding design by committee, the trend of including a “selfie moment” in mural art, whether murals should be considered temporary or permanent art and why mural art is one of the most litigious type of art to get made.
Nov 29, 2018
One City's Journey to Pass a "1% for Art" (Ep. 1)
Maddie McBirney and Paula Rini served as city art commissioners for the Bay Area community of Los Altos. During their tenure they were able to secure a budget for future art, through a 1% tax on future development projects, as well as develop a master plan for art.
Nov 29, 2018