Here's a chance to get to know the mysterious man behind Felix Doolittle - an interview with artist and designer Felix Fu.
Felix Doolittle isn't your given name. How did you decide upon the name Felix Doolittle?
(Laughs.) There's a lot of different stories I tell about how the name Felix Doolittle came to be, but this is the real one! (More laughter.) When I was 13 in Hong Kong, we had to choose an English name for ourselves. I chose "Felix" because in Latin it means happiness and good luck. Once you're choosing a first name for yourself, choosing your own last name is just a matter of time. I happened upon the name, Doolittle, and felt it had such a cheerful ring to it. Also, it could be written beautifully in calligraphy - a matter of real importance when you are choosing a name!
Where did you learn calligraphy?
After I graduated college in business, I became enamored with the restaurant world. During the downtimes of the day, I taught myself calligraphy and kept up with my drawing.
Where do you find inspiration?
All around me -- In nature, in structures, in books, movies, stories, my family, and the home and garden magazines from Europe.
I love miniatures and moss (a miniature plant), turtles, fish, and salamanders. When the weather gets warmer, I love looking for creatures in swampy areas. It's an activity I call swamp-hopping.
When you stop working, what do you do for relaxation?
I have a number of aquariums and terrariums which I enjoy looking at. It's meditative really. Fishing and being in nature - forests, ponds, brooks, the beach - are really restorative for me.
I'm sure some people might be curious, what kind of watercolors do you use?
Dr. Ph Martin's liquid watercolors are my current favorite. They're easy to use, and the color is brilliant.
What is your favorite time of day to work?
The time isn't really the thing. Like most artists, when you start, whatever time of day it is, you just keep going. Sometimes it's easier at night because there are fewer distractions, but I enjoy working in natural light most of all. Often the ideas come at night when there are less distractions and it's quiet. For implementing that idea, the actual drawing and painting, I prefer to work by natural light.
There are so many inspiring artists out there! A few whose work I enjoy are: Norman Rockwell for his storytelling ability and impeccable craftsmanship; John Singer Sargent, for his effortless capturing of the essence of people and places, his mastery of light, color, and composition - I am in awe of his watercolor oeuvre; and Hayao Miyazaki, the pioneer Japanese anime moviemaker, a master storyteller whose well-observed details and gestures bring characters and places to life with a heartfelt emotional honesty that is rare in any medium.
Strong coffee and good butter, but not together.