Yao Xiao was born in 1990 in Tianjin, China. She is an illustrator, cartoonist, and writer residing in New York. She writes about the transient experience of being a queer immigrant in a foreign country. Her art is often about straddling and bridging different worlds and navigating difficult memories.
Yao’s work blends emotion, experience, and imagination together with visual imagery. Yao Xiao came to the United States as an exchange student in 2006 and has been writing about her experience since. She started illustrating her journey through a series of comics after she received a BFA in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts in 2013.
As an illustrator, her work has appeared in Buzzfeed, Entertainment Weekly, Mental Floss,National Geographic, Newsweek, TIME Magazine, Vice, and the Wall Street Journal. 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 currently works out of her home on the Upper West Side with her cat, Happy.