Yao Cheng

Yao Cheng is an Ohio-based watercolor artist, designer and the founder of Yao Cheng Design in 2012. Since then, Yao’s refreshing, colorful and expressive watercolor designs have appeared on select publications, in retail shops, and with commercial clients such as Chronicle Books, Southern Living, HGTV, Better Homes & Garden, Storey Publishing, West Elm, Anthropologie, Barnes & Noble, Target, and Papyrus among others. Her iconic painting style is immediately recognizable due to her unique blend of color, pattern, geometry, and love of nature. In addition to her client work and product line, she also co-founded a Columbus, Ohio meet-up for local designers called Rise & Design.


While Yao has been painting and drawing since the age of 5, her introduction to watercolor began after graduating from RISD in Textiles.  Her connection to this medium was unlike any others- it felt intuitive and resonated with her instantly.  Throughout all of her work, Yao tries to capture the immediacy of expression with colors, shapes and brush strokes. The emphasis on imperfect marks and unpredictable colors is what makes her designs at once recognizable and personable.


Her intention with every artwork is about being open to the idea of improvisation, focusing on the process of creation rather than the end result.