WEST ELM INTERVIEW

Hello there!

I had the privilege of being interviewed by West Elm last week for their blog, Front + Main. I love how much West Elm cares and supports small businesses, so I was (not surprisingly) jumping up and down in my seat when they approached me! 

In the interview I talk a little bit about my journey as an artist and why I love what I do. I also share some advice for folks who may want to start out on their own. It's not an easy decision to make, and from my conversations with many artists/designers I realized that there is no right way to approach this career change. So I say it's ok to not know everything in the beginning as long as you prepare for some of the basic aspects of legal protection of rights and get all the paperwork squared away. I found that sometimes you can spend too much time preparing and researching, and then you become too afraid to take the jump! I went into this thinking I would be happily painting away for, let's say, 80% of the time and I would spend the rest of the time doing administrative and business "stuff". What I found out was the complete opposite, that when I am the one running the show, I'm lucky to get to paint 30% of the time. But that's OK, because that is something I only realized after working on my own, it's not something anyone would have been able to tell me. And even if they did, I wouldn't have believed them. Plus, there's something to be said about learning as you go, that if you love and truly believe in what you are pursuing 100%, then you will put in the time to figure these things out. 

Anyway, check out the interview here! The images are photographed by Christa Kimble Photography and are sneak peaks of my new home office. I hope to get a proper photoshoot in the next few months of my entire studio space to share with you guys! It's slowly coming along but I love how much more space I have to work with.

Until next time,

Yao

ORIGINAL PAINTINGS- END OF SUMMER SALE!

Hey guys! Have you checked out a new addition to our shop yet? I have many original paintings including some exclusives for West Elm and Minted that are now available for sale. Through 8/31, you can enjoy an extra 25% off any original watercolor with code ENDOFSUMR! 

Looking for originals under $200? Check them out here in my Etsy shop!

Hope you are all having a great weekend.

Cheers,

Yao

LATELY...

Yao Cheng Design, all rights reserved

Yao Cheng Design, all rights reserved

Well good morning!

I just wanted to share some thoughts today about what's been on my mind lately. Also, this artwork is so fun, it feels appropriate for how I'm feeling today. 

Ever since coming back from our wedding and honeymoon in Italy (post coming soon!), I've been spending a lot of time figuring out/ planning how to expand and grow with my business. It's time to take this business to the next level, to grow with help from others and a bigger space to do more projects!

Our 2 weeks away was so good in so many ways. We got to spend quality time not only with each other but also with our close family and friends. It was 2 weeks that I will never ever forget, they are so close to our hearts. That vacation also forced me to really step away, mentally and physically, from my business. I didn't answer emails, fill orders, multi-task different projects, clients, etc... So coming back to all of the demands of running everything yourself was- crazy. Yep, that's the word. It was absolutely nuts, which really made me realize how much I need to find an assistant and move into a larger space so that I can grow in ways that I really want to.

I've grappled with this idea of hiring someone else to help with my business for over a year now, and I never wanted to deal with the issue head on because it just seemed unnecessary to ask someone else to help. I always thought there must be other ways for me to be more efficient, I must not be working hard enough or putting in enough hours. The reality though, was that I was working many 6 or 7 day weeks, and while some days were less efficient than others, it was because I would get so burnt out that I just needed a break. Coming back from our time in Italy, it became clear how I really do need to address this issue now. I am always amazed with the response I get from customers, clients, folks in general, on how much they love my work and want to work with me. I cannot tell you how much it means to me that other people can connect with my work, it is just amazing. I also cannot think of any other way to spend my time everyday, so moving into a larger space and having more hands on deck is the only way forward!

All of that is well and good, getting the thoughts and ideas going in my head (and writing this post!) is the first step. I'm currently on the second step, which is on finding the right space, the right person to hire, figuring out all the financial and legals aspects. It's a work in progress, and I'm really hoping moving into space soon will get the ball rolling. Did I mention we are also in the process of buying our first home? (more on that later!) So I'm allowing myself some time to get all of this sorted out, and to say it's ok that for the time being that I cannot take on every project that I want to do!

Well I hope you've enjoyed reading this post! I have a hard time figuring out what to share via social media and blogs sometimes. It's crucial to present the best aspects of running a business, and that's all well and good. But, there are many, many days of struggles and constant problem-solvings involved, and it's not often that those moments are shared. So it feels good to write some of these honest thoughts down today... I have so many hopes and dreams for where I want this business to go. Everyday I'm working towards that goal, and while many of these steps may not be so obvious to others, they are each crucial and exciting milestones. 

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Yao

ART PRINTS ON WEST ELM!

Hello there! 

Have you guys checked out some of my art prints that was selected during the last Minted + West Elm challenge? It's now available for sale on West Elm, go check it out here, here and here!

I nearly fell off my chair when Minted announced that some of my work will be in West Elm, as this has always been one of my dreams to be in their stores. When I was coming up with ideas for this project, I wanted to stay in a more neutral palette- leaving out my usual bright magentas and warm colors. I love the three prints they ended up selecting as they work wonderful together as a collection but are visually interesting individually. 

The Evergreens print, was about abstracting a natural landscape. Since my work is heavily influenced by patterns and geometry, I wanted to play with that and see how it can translate with something organic and scenic. With the use of a liquid resist, I painted in the strokes of white as well as the dots before going on top with washes of blues and greens. I love the movement in this piece, the evergreens slowly fade away towards the top...

The print titled Hexagon Cluster is one that you can find in landscape orientation on West Elm and as in portrait orientation on Minted! I wanted to still stay within a more limited palette but push the spectrum in terms of saturation and hue. Plus, hexagons are the perfect shape for watercolor bleeds- their angles touch at a specific point and as soon as they touch- voila! Watercolor blends happen instantly. This medium will never cease to amaze me!

You can find the original watercolors of Evergreens and Triangles in Green and Yellow in my shop, be sure to check out the 25% end of summer sale!

Anyway, hope you guys are enjoying this afternoon!
Cheers,

Yao

Triangles in Green and Yellow for West Elm / Evergreens for West Elm

Triangles in Green and Yellow for West Elm / Evergreens for West Elm

Hexagon Cluster for West Elm

Hexagon Cluster for West Elm

Hexagon Cluster for Minted

Hexagon Cluster for Minted