Fu For Thought: The Man Behind Fu-Design

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I was taken at first glance by the designs of Taiwanese artist Keng-Fu Chu (Fu). They were captivating, smile-inducing, and incredibly imaginative. Novel yet strangely familiar, they called to mind the bizarre otherworldliness and hand-drawn charm of Tim Burton and Gorillaz co-creator Jamie Hewlet; the pared-down innocence of Yoshimoto Nara; and the cheerful simplicity of Goodnight Moon and Monsters Inc.

What’s more, they came with the kind of narrative detail that I can relish in. Take Fu’s introduction to Screamer the robot, for instance:

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“Screamer was born in a high-tech city, longing for freedom. He was launched into outer space but landed upside down. He looked like an exclamation point when he landed in a beautiful grassy field, and was named accordingly….”

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Designer Download: Gayle Kabaker

Today’s Designer Download features Berkshires-based artist Gayle Kabaker, whose whimsical watercolors made the front cover of The New Yorker back in June. Check out more of her work on Fab!

Who are you, and what do you make?

I am an illustrator /painter.

Where do you illustrate and paint?

I work out of my studio in Western Massachusetts.

What does your workspace look like?

It’s a wonderful, light studio over our two-car garage, next to our house. We live on 40

acres in the boonies.

What do you need to get rolling on a new project?

I try to start my day with yoga or a fitness class in town, about 10 minutes away, or an hour walk or run. I make a big thermos of green tea that I refill and drink all day. Sometimes at around 1 PM, I make a latte if i need that extra energy to finish the day since i start early—around 6:30 AM.

What are three words that describe your work?

Colorful, feminine, lush

What are the five things you can’t live without?

On a spiritual level, love, family, friendship, connection and sunlight. On a material level, my new thong Birkenstocks, many different black dresses, great jewelry, lipstick and great healthy food.

What sort of music do you listen to while you work?

Classical—mostly baroque. I especially love cello. If I really need to concentrate, I can’t listen to music with words. Otherwise I listen to all kinds of music : soul, folk, rock. I love Spotify: I often listen to WFUV, the NPR station in NYC, and then put names of new artists I like into Spotify so I can hear more. Some of my favorites are Sonya Kitchell (my daughter!), The Barr Brothers, The Winterpills, Ray LaMontagne and Joni Mitchell.

What’s your number one skill, according to you?

Networking and planning.

When you’re searching for inspiration, where do you turn to?

Magazines and the Internet, some of my art books, print design annuals, and old fashion magazines—especially European ones.