I’m an artist inspired by history, idealistic pursuits, and holistic approaches to art and design.

I used to play with crayons, markers, and colored pencils. Now I design digital products and websites for a Texas scholarly analytics company while living in Fort Collins, Colorado.

I began my professional life as an artist by attending the University of Texas. Following graduation, I worked for an online print shop building frames in Austin before moving to Philadelphia. There I worked for a historic art gallery, a local art supply shop, and then started my miniature people series.

During a brief return to Texas, I had the great opportunity to mentor elementary students for AmeriCorps. Together, with teachers, coworkers, local residents, and students, we as a community built an outdoor mural and fixed up an overgrown garden area where students could learn and enjoy the fresh air.

I opened my online shop of Zooettes while living in beautiful Charlottesville, Virginia. My heart will always be in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which is why I started my life-long Welcome to Autumn project.

After yet another short stay in Texas, I am now enjoying a slower pace of life next to the Rocky Mountains. I love working in almost every medium so I spend much of my time learning. When I’m not studying or working, you can probably find me hanging out at a park, playing basketball, or lounging around with my two cats.

Ricky Colson drawing mural profile portrait
My Resume

Why did you paint tiny people?

Children believe in the full potential of their future. Society should move forward and get better with each generation.

The conflict between that childhood ideal and the bitter realities of adulthood fascinated me as a young struggling artist. Our lives are often defined by survival. What do we need, and how do we get it?

Toys allow us to act out our desires and design own own rules during an age without much control. I played with Legos, Lincoln Logs, toy trains, and even rearranged the furniture in my sister’s dollhouse. I was the giant in control. But what happens to those desires later on?

One day, the optimism of childhood is washed away by responsibility, competition, doubt, and struggle. We feel insignificant in a new way.

History, however, reveals that the human race is both powerfully innovative and destructive. The tiny figures in My Humble Existence are a reminder that we may be small, but we still shape the world around us. The lack of a natural landscape in my paintings is not coincidental.

By the time we grow up and finally get to determine what our future will look like, most of us submit to the established circumstances. We lose sight of the fact that we still have some real control, unlike children playing with toys.

We, as designers, politicians, engineers, and citizens, must embrace the creative power we have. Yes, we are all small figures just trying to survive. But, we can either submit to a dystopian destiny that feels inevitable or build our lives and environment with a little more childlike naivety and long-term optimism. Despite all of the constant obstacles, I genuinely still see our potential.

I was continuing to shrink, to become…what? The infinitesimal? What was I? Still a human being?

– The Incredible Shrinking Man

The conflict between that childhood ideal and the bitter realities of adulthood fascinated me as a young struggling artist. Our lives are often defined by survival. What do we need, and how do we get it?

Toys allow us to act out our desires and design own own rules during an age without much control. I played with Legos, Lincoln Logs, toy trains, and even rearranged the furniture in my sister’s dollhouse. I was the giant in control. But what happens to those desires later on?

One day, the optimism of childhood is washed away by responsibility, competition, doubt, and struggle. We feel insignificant in a new way.

History, however, reveals that the human race is both powerfully innovative and destructive. The tiny figures in My Humble Existence are a reminder that we may be small, but we still shape the world around us. The lack of a natural landscape in my paintings is not coincidental.

By the time we grow up and finally get to determine what our future will look like, most of us submit to the established circumstances. We lose sight of the fact that we still have some real control, unlike children playing with toys.

We, as designers, politicians, engineers, and citizens, must embrace the creative power we have. Yes, we are all small figures just trying to survive. But, we can either submit to a dystopian destiny that feels inevitable or build our lives and environment with a little more childlike naivety and long-term optimism. Despite all of the constant obstacles, I genuinely still see our potential.

I was continuing to shrink, to become…what? The infinitesimal? What was I? Still a human being?

– The Incredible Shrinking Man
Yellow owls wall art

Why animal silhouettes?

I built an online store to provide affordable art to a wider audience and expand my style using a technique that I love—silhouettes.

The painting series began because of the need to hang something decorative over a bed. My wife suggested we try something with a silhouette so I made a simple drawing with owls on a branch.

After that, the idea took off. I got a chance to play with bright colors, geometric shapes, and creative scenes centered on my love for animals and nature. My Zooettes live all over the world now, and I’m thankful I had the opportunity to explore a new style for a few years.