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Local Artist Spotlight: Yao Cheng

Anne Evans Anne Evans Local Artist Spotlight: Yao Cheng
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Yao Cheng of Yao Cheng Designs.

Yao Cheng has been drawing and painting since she can remember. “My mom took me to my first art class when I was very young, so I was exposed to being creative early on,” says Cheng.

“I really enjoyed drawing. It just felt natural for me to pick up a pencil and start creating art! It’s hard to explain, but I suppose through drawing I feel I can capture and connect with the world in a very intimate way.”

While studying Textiles Design at the Rhode Island School of Design, she took a semester abroad to China, and focused on calligraphy and floral painting.

“Calligraphy had a profound influence on me because I loved the self-expression I found in its brush strokes,” says Cheng, “While painting and drawing has this wonderful way of reminding me of the simple pleasures in life, like watching colors blend when it first touches paper.”

“When I am painting, I feel like whatever is happening around me just fades away. There’s a wonderful quietness to it.”

After college, she designed print and pattern in the fashion industry, then went back to her first love of painting. Last year, Cheng started her own design studio, Yao Cheng Design, here in Columbus.

“As the owner and designer, I am focusing on painting again and creating beautiful designs for print mediums and textiles,” she says. “My work now is a culmination of my background in surface pattern design, fine art, and graphic design.”

Her beautiful works have not gone unnoticed. Martha Stewart’s The Crafts Dept. featured her Mother’s Day card in May, and some of her prints are sold through UncommonGoods.

The last few years she has been working in the expressive form of watercolors.

“I find the medium to be very liberating because you can’t ever quite control how the colors will blend on paper,” she says. “The end result is always a little surprising.”

Art Prints by Yao Cheng Designs. (clockwise, top left). Yellow Gingko Leaves, Colorful Falling Dots, Blue Waves, Multi Triangles II.

Cheng loves drawing inspiration from many sources -beautiful photographs, mathematical patterns, and flowers.  She especially enjoys painting springtime florals. “Their color palettes and shapes are always fun to capture.”

Her work has been applied to desktop wallpapers, pillow cushions, wedding invites, stationary, and more.

“I feel the most content when I am painting and making images that are personal and genuine to what I am trying to express.”

Working in her studio.

A custom postcard design featuring florals.

Wedding invitations.

Find Yao Cheng Designs at this year’s Westerville Art Festival on July 13 and 14.

Photos courtesy Yao Cheng Designs.

For more information, visit YaoChengDesign.com.

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