FAQ's- CREATIVE PROCESS

Hey there,

For those of you interested in learning how to paint or are working with watercolors, you may have wondered to yourself: "How do I get started with my creative process, how do I come up with my compositions, or where do I find my inspirations?"  These questions and many others often been asked in emails and discussion forums over on Creativebug by students. I believe it is so important to find your own voice when it comes to being a creative, but it often takes a lot of time and trial and error to find that style you can call your own! That is why in this new "Frequently Asked Questions" class, I talk about how I came up with my design ideas and gained confidence in my painting style over the years. I even share some general techniques on how you can translate your watercolor paintings digitally into the computer to be used in designs! 

The thing is, I was often curious about these same questions in regards to other artists and designers when I was first starting out. Since everyone has a unique perspective on how they arrived at their signature style, there was something to be gained from each interview that I listened to. I hope that in this class on my creative process, I can shed some light on the different ways you can find creative inspiration and translate that into something original of your own! During the interview, you will also get a peak inside our downtown studio where all of my paintings are created and I run my business out of. So check it out here, and as you continue to paint and explore new ideas, you can always email us specific questions directly!

Have a creative week, folks!
Yao

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NEW MONOGRAMS + ABSTRACT PRINTS

Hey folks!

We have just added new floral wreaths to our monogram selection! I love each one of these new beauties, and the fact that you can customize them makes them so special! If you are not familiar with this process, you can personalize these floral wreaths by selecting from our different lettering styles as well as dates and numbers.  If you have more specific wording in mind, feel free to email us and we will happily work with you on that. Whether you are looking for a personal touch to display in your own home or a unique gift for family and friends, there is a design for all occasions!

Left // Protea Wreath Right // White Peony Wreath

In addition to our new monograms, we also have some abstract art prints that are brand new! It's been a while since I've created any abstract prints. I am constantly thinking of new compositions or color combinations for abstracts, and these are some that have been on my mind lately. Cluster in Magenta and Turquoise might be my favorite print in this new group, if I had to choose. I love the color palette and effects achieved with how light and soft you can get with watercolor. It feels at the same time ethereal yet pronounced. And with Gems in Violet and Apple Green, I was looking at gems and crystals as an inspiration for shapes. It's fascinating the way they grow and cluster together, I wanted to see how I can achieve a similar effect through layering. Anyway, I hope you guys will enjoy these and don't forget to sign up for our newsletter so that you can stay up-to-date whenever we release new prints & products!

Have a great day, folks!

Yao

CBTV WITH CREATIVEBUG

Hello there!

Some of you may have seen a sneak peek of a filming project that I was working on back in February on Instagram. Well, I'm happy to finally share the first of a multi-episode series that Creativebug has recently released! Their CBTV channel just launched the first episode, called "Creative Origins with Yao Cheng", and will be releasing additional episodes in the coming months. In these episodes, I will take you inside our design studio in Columbus, Ohio and talk more in depth about where my creativity first began, as well as how I have grown into the business that I run today! It's definitely a very insightful resource (and free for everyone to watch!) and my hope is that it will inspire you to get those creative juices flowing! 

I remember pouring over artist/designer interviews. Design Matters with Debbie Millman is a great podcast that I listened to when I first decided that I was going to make the transition from a full-time, corporate design job to starting my own business. At the time, I needed to know that there were other people out there who have done something similar and succeeded! After all, we all need encouragement from time to time when we are about to do something unknown and scary, and that was definitely how I felt. I knew 100% that I wanted to start my own business, but I wasn't so sure how to get to where I envisioned my business to be.

When Creativebug approached me about doing this mini-documentary series, I knew right away that I wanted to do this in hopes of inspiring other creatives who might have the same curiosity as me when starting out. After hearing from so many people who loved taking the online classes, it seemed like there was a real curiosity about how I "found" my painting style and an interest to know more about the background of how I began...Honestly, I really wanted to take the opportunity to talk about these things in more depth too! Art is something I am very passionate about, but building a business around art is something I have had to learn along the way and feel there is a lot to it that people may not necessarily know. The classes that I teach online are great for techniques and tips, but there was just never enough time to fit in these in-depth conversations that I also really wanted to have.

The first episode is about how I first learned watercolor and how my education abroad in learning traditional Chinese floral painting/calligraphy has really influenced my work. It is pretty funny how much of an influence it has become in my work now, mostly in how I think about using my brush strokes and how to capture "life" in natural subjects. At the time, I really did not know what I was doing there, especially since the discipline in art and creativity in China was vastly different from my education in the US. I felt very rebellious then and very constrained by the meticulous training in ink work and master copies. My thinking was, "how am I supposed to be thinking outside of the box when all I do is copy paintings that I cannot relate to?". Looking back, I am really grateful to have had that intense training. It laid a great foundation for how I approach floral painting now because I have an understanding of flower anatomies and how to capture them in a way that brought life and energy into the work. There is a strong emphasis on how to convey emotions in brush strokes, which was something I took for granted before. I started to understand that I could use my brush strokes as my visual vocabulary.

I also talk a little bit about those in my life who really believed in what I loved to do from the very beginning and how vital having a support system was for me throughout my life. There were many a times when I knew I wanted to go to RISD for an art degree but family members didn't take me seriously or couldn't understand why I would want to spend my college degree on something such as art. A lot of that comes from a lack of knowledge in what art is and what art can be in our daily lives, and I do not fault them for it. But I knew I wanted to prove them wrong, because I knew that art is so much more than what we might think. It is not just a pretty painting on a wall or in a gallery. Art, when combined with design, can enrich our lives in so many amazing ways! 

You can check out the full episode on Creativebug's CBTV channel and I hope this will give you a little more insight into where and how I began as an artist. Stay tuned in the coming months for more episode releases and follow us on Instagram and Facebook for those announcements!

Until next time,

Yao

NEW! COLLECTION INVITATIONS

Well happy Friday to you all!

I am thrilled to finally introduce to you all something that we have been hard at work here at the studio. We are proud and very ecstatic to share with you our 5 fully-designed Collection wedding suites that require very little customization and can be mailed to you in 2-3 months!

These Collection invitations have been a true labor of love to design for both me and my assistant over the last year. It is something that we scrutinized for months over, obsessing over every little details so that everything coordinates together perfectly. For me personally, even though this is one of most ambitious projects I've ever thought about doing, it was really important to me to make this happen! After working with brides on custom invites for the last couple of years, I began to see a real demand from brides who would email us wanting to work with us, but would leave feeling disappointed because of either their time constraint or a limited budget (both of which are very realistic and understandable reasons!). Having planned a small wedding on a budget myself, I could totally relate to the reality of having a busy schedule and the pressure to still put together the most memorable wedding.

But first, a thought on why I started designing invitations in the first place...Stationery was always a passion of mine, I suppose it goes back to my school training in textiles and always being around tactile things! At any rate, after seeing how people responded to my paintings that I turned into art prints, I knew I wanted to bring something equally as beautiful to wedding stationery. Painted florals is a big part of my body of work, so it seemed very natural to translate them into wedding invitations early on. For me, it wasn't enough to just design paper invitations though. I wanted our wedding stationeries to be like small works of art, something made with a lot of care and printed on quality paper so that brides and their guests can keep them for years to come. In fact, a lot of our bridal guests frame their addressed envelopes! 

With that in mind, I knew with these Collection suites that I was not going to compromise on the quality of the work or how special they feel. Instead, I would focus on offering brides a much shorter time frame since a large portion of the design process has already been done. This gives brides the flexibility to quickly coordinate pieces together or shift their budget around to accommodate other aspects of their wedding planning! Every suite is fully-designed from Save the Dates all the way to Reception pieces. We even have patterned envelope liners to match and bring a splash of color to your envelopes! I really wanted each suite to have the right balance in terms of variety, patterns, and color. Calligraphy choices were also carefully considered to compliment the right feeling. I chose to design 5 different styles of invitations to suit the different kinds of weddings that brides are planning. Looking for something more elegant to fit a church or ballroom setting? Eliza and Ambrose are the perfect ones for that! Or if you want to go more rustic chic or outdoors, Ingram and Meadow could be a great match. In fact, Meadow was inspired by my own Italian wedding in the heart of Tuscany! And Gardiner is very fitting for a beach or less formal setting, either outdoors or indoors!

We know how important and emotional this day is for everyone, which is why we work very closely with each of our brides every step of the way! If you'd like more information on our pricing, design process, check out our wedding catalog! Interested in working with us? Please fill out this form so that we can have some information on hand when determining a time-frame and the size of the project! You can always email us with specific questions or, if you are in the Columbus area, stop by our studio and see these lovely pieces in person. At this time, we only offer these designs as physical, printed pieces! We work with a trusted printing vendor here in the USA to offer consistent coloration and quality paper stocks. 

Are you looking for custom, Bespoke wedding designs? Feel free to reach out to us with your specific needs. I will be on maternity leave through the middle of September, so custom work will be scheduled later in the year!

Behind the scenes: in progress shot

I can't tell you how proud of these designs I am. Seeing everything photographed together was a real treat for me, since they've been swarming around in my head for such a long time! I wanted to include a few shots of us behind the scenes in the studio as these lovelies were photographed by the talented Christa Kimble! That's all for today, thank you for stopping by and hope you all will fall in love with these designs as much as we did!

All photography courtesy of Christa Kimble Photography

Have a great weekend,

Yao