about yao

Photography by    Christa Kimble

Photography by Christa Kimble

Yao is a renowned watercolor artist and designer based in Columbus, Ohio.  While she has been painting and drawing since the age of 5, her introduction into watercolor began shortly after college from RISD with a BFA in Textiles in 2009.  Her connection to this medium was immediate and it has since defined her painting style and marked the beginning for Yao Cheng Design.

Founded in 2012, Yao Cheng Design is a design studio where Yao’s modern and bright designs come to life through home-decor and stationery products, licensing and commercial work.  Located in downtown Columbus, our studio is where we create her signature watercolors for the everyday.  Throughout all of Yao's work, she is always trying to capture the immediacy of expressions through color, shapes and brush strokes.  Her unique approach to this medium is defined by her use of fluid, imperfect mark-making and unpredictable colors.  The result is work that is captivating and connects with people on an emotional and intrinsic level.

Best known for her iconic painting style, Yao's designs, products and collaborations can be found on our site, with Chronicle Books, Storey Publishing, Minted, West Elm, and more.  Her online tutorial series with Creativebug offers an introduction to watercolor painting.  She is also the co-founder of Rise & Design, a Columbus meet-up for creatives in our local community.

Get in touch if you'd like to work with us on a new projectlicensing, or have an inquiry regarding our products.