Boris Lee, entrepreneur
By Eve Marx
He just pitched – successfully – his business plan, a publication about the art of creating pictures book. He is Taiwanese, but has been living in Edinburgh for about two years.
“Supportive, inspirational, significant, magnificent (…) magical”
What are you working on at the moment?
I’s Kokoni magazine, which means Here in Japanese. It focuses on the art of creating picture books. It’s all about creating a book – a good one too! – with the help of other illustrators and professionals. It’s partly guidelines and tips for future authors but also a platform for our subscribers to showcase their work.
Who else works on this project?
Lian-Lian is our design director and graphic designer, so she handles the entire design, print and web. She basically makes things happen while I throw hundreds of ideas at her (laughs).
Then how do you find the people to interview and collaborate with?
To be honest I’m still free to find them myself, based on my own researches. I read a lot and try to get in contact with the publishers.
Of course people can come and find me too. We do have to make a selection, but I like so many different styles, I’m very open!
Is the enterprise worldwide?
It is. I think it’s good to be introducing creatives from all over the world. I’m not sure you know any illustrators in China or in Taiwan, for example?
But why Edinburgh then, why not establish yourself back in Taiwan?
Well for one, the picture books market is not as popular as here. Here you have more resources, more networking opportunities and more support; the whole market is just bigger.
So I want to start here and when the experience is successful, export it somewhere else. It would be beneficial for everyone I think. In my small business plan, I’m planning to launch the Taiwanese version somewhere along the second year.
I’m also very keen on working with students. I know it can be hard for them to promote themselves and be seen by publishers unless you win any award.
Support is what it’s all about. There are some organizations like Power of Pictures that I admire, I’d like to carry on their legacy.
If you were to put up together your own show at the Fringe, what would you do?
It would have to be a children’s show. I would do something cross-disciplinary, create books for it and come up with an interactive experience. Of course at the end they can also buy my books (laughs).
Do you have a few words to describe Edinburgh?
Supportive, inspirational, significant, magnificent and probably… magical?