Interview with Lee Su-an, the CEO of Toyphil books
A one-person professional publisher, Lee Su-an from Kookmin University majoring in Sculpture and Japanese writes books about childhood toys. Her most recently published book is titled “The Toy Collector’s Gloomy Life,” and deals with memories of childhood toys. Lee has held book talks on writing books, storytelling, and finding a publishing company at Chungmu Startup Cube in Seoul.
What was your motivation for creating a solo publishing enterprise?
When I was young, I adored toys and books and this interest led me to have an affection for solo publishers. Based on my childhood experience, I established a professional kidult publication business by combining kidult culture and writing. With the guidance from the support group of Youth Foundation, I was able to establish myself as a publisher with financial aid from the foundation.
Why do you think young people are craving a return to their childhood?
There is difference in the perspective from which children and adults enjoy interesting and cool items. Adults who have been suffering in the competitive and selfish modern society find healing in their unique characters. For me, I feel great when I take photos of my growing number of dolls because I don’t have to think about other complex duties. The emotions of the innocence of childhood helps me remember that I still have a ‘younger’ side.
What is your perspective on the kidult phenomenon and what are your future plans?
Despite the fact that kidult culture is becoming commercialized, this has not been highlighted in the publishing industry because it has been trending mostly through SNS. Hence, I aim to publish unique and creative books that will attract the public to the kidult phenomenon. Some of the publications I have planned are “Jelly Report,” on a wide variety of jelly sweets that I like to eat, and collections of photographs of dolls.