Yao Xiao is a China-born illustrator based in New York City. Yao Xiao creates artwork depicting a poetic visual world where complex concepts and human emotions are examined, amplified, and given physical form. 

Her work has helped people all over the globe connect at unique moments, from the celebration of the 20 Year Anniversary of the SXSW Interactive Festival, to the grand release of pop singer Katy Perry’s single ‘Dark Horse.’ She has created deeply emotional and beautiful graphics for editorial print publications, pop music record covers, concert posters and book covers. 

Yao is a guest lecturer at the School of Visual Arts, Maryland Institute College of Art, Fashion Institute of Technology, Society of Illustrators, and the Children's Museum of Art in Manhattan. 

Yao Xiao's serialized comic 'Baopu' currently runs monthly on Autostraddle. It is an original comic exploring the nuances in searching for identities, connections and friendships through the fictional life of a young, queer emigrant. 


Clients: TIME Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, the Wall Street Journal, Robb Report, National Geographic, SXSW, Capitol Records, Buzzfeed, Columbia Journalism Review, Bloomberg Businessweek, Katy Perry and more.


American Illustration 32

American Illustration 33

Illustrators 56

Illustrators 55

Kennedy Center of Performing Arts Certificate of Merit