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Noted: The Monster Diaries

Feb 9, 2011

by Michelle Traub handmade and vintage goods

Having finished The New Yorker‘s profile of filmmaker Guillermo del Toro only this morning, I have a feeling the figure drawing session I’m attending after work might result in some fanged and winged anatomy. Del Toro keeps a mansion outside of Los Angeles called Bleak House, a shrine stocked with macabre collections made to inspire. The prospect of fetuses crowding kitchen counters and severed legs as fireplace accouterments makes me whimper in yearning. I devoured Pan’s Labyrinth, but I admit I am usually on the other side of the sci-fi and fantasy versus realism debate. The splendor of the everyday, I reason, revels in the subtle complexity of humanity that moves me in ways 3D aliens can’t even conceive. But when del Toro talks about conjuring monsters, I want to jump head-first into a thick, murky puddle of mysticism. “In the terror genre, an artist, unbound by ‘reality,’ can create his purest reflection of the world — the cinematic equivalent of poetry,” he says. On The New Yorker‘s website, a video tour through some of his notebooks is equally as inspiring:

What demons probe at the folds of your imagination?

Keep It Weird | More Monsters | The New Yorker Article


  • TwinkleStarCrafts

    TwinkleStarCrafts said 5 years ago

    Terrific! It is so off the grid, it is wonderful!

  • DecadesOfVintage

    DecadesOfVintage said 5 years ago

    Thanks, Michelle. I will definatsely check out The New Yorker's article.

  • DecadesOfVintage

    DecadesOfVintage said 5 years ago

    That would be definately

  • JudiPaintedit

    JudiPaintedit said 5 years ago

    Ohhhhh... Love it. Super cool!

  • Lisarachel

    Lisarachel said 5 years ago

    exciting! I love getting the creative juices flowing with something off the beaten path

  • WatchWithDaDa

    WatchWithDaDa said 5 years ago

    Beautiful work. Terrifying but compelling.

  • bottlecrop

    bottlecrop said 5 years ago

    "ravishing"= perfect word to describe del Toro's drawings. awe-inspiring video. thank you.

  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie said 5 years ago

    Very exciting!!! Great work!

  • collectiblesatoz

    collectiblesatoz said 5 years ago

    Very unusual. Thanks for sharing.

  • GinaMicheleEco

    GinaMicheleEco said 5 years ago

    Wow...fantastic! Thank you for sharing this with us!

  • nadinessra

    nadinessra said 5 years ago

    Thank you for sharing!

  • choisette

    choisette said 5 years ago

    guillermo del toro is one of the world's greatest contemporary filmmakers. if you haven't had the privilege of seeing any of his films, you must do it. immediately.

  • Floreal

    Floreal said 5 years ago

    Off the check the article.. thanks for sharing!

  • WinchesterLambourne

    WinchesterLambourne said 5 years ago

    Scary but talented! Thank you.

  • kjgrigoriadis

    kjgrigoriadis said 5 years ago

    this is great thanks for sharing!

  • paramountvintage

    paramountvintage said 5 years ago

    i love that the entire book is so comprehensive. each an individual piece of art.

  • peoplescouture

    peoplescouture said 5 years ago

    fascinating work from an amazing filmmaker. pan's labyrinth was one of my most favourite films ever. thank you for sharing.

  • Spiderbite

    Spiderbite said 5 years ago

    I'm a HUGE Guillermo del Toro fan. Devil's Backbone was amazing.

  • SugarCubeVintage

    SugarCubeVintage said 5 years ago

    very interesting work...

  • silvertreemoondesign

    silvertreemoondesign said 5 years ago

    What beautiful journals and works of art. Love him and his films. Thanks for the video-very enlightening!

  • galstudio

    galstudio said 5 years ago

    Monster madness enjoyed the insight!

  • MeadowbelleMarket

    MeadowbelleMarket said 5 years ago

    Fantastic! Thanks for giving us a sneak peak at the mind behind the monsters. I'm a weenie when it comes to watching scary movies, but I'll suffer the after effects (nightmares) to see one of del Toro's, lol.

  • odiliafu

    odiliafu said 5 years ago

    Very cool! Thanks for sharing.

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 5 years ago

    The master of scary monsters!

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 5 years ago

    The master of scary monsters!

  • PereLachaise

    PereLachaise said 5 years ago

    Demons ?? What demons ?? An artist without demons is like the ocean without water ;-P I have way oo many to list !! <3 <3

  • PereLachaise

    PereLachaise said 5 years ago

    (TOO many)

  • shop1848

    shop1848 said 5 years ago

    Super cool!! Very nice work!!

  • TheIDconnection

    TheIDconnection said 5 years ago

    I love this! Great Monica

  • KinkyCatDesigns

    KinkyCatDesigns said 5 years ago

    Wow, how inspiring! Thanks for sharing this, it made my day!

  • strikebooks

    strikebooks said 5 years ago

    Yeah it would be cool to show alongside the article some etsy bookbinders with cool notebooks en plus! I can curate that for you if you want! Cheers! Strikebooks!

  • BuyMeLove

    BuyMeLove said 5 years ago

    Love, love, love Del Toro! This was a great look at his thought process and evolution of some of his best creatures. Thanks for sharing!

  • suchastrangegirl

    suchastrangegirl said 5 years ago

    What an awesome imagination Del Toro has.

  • whichgoose

    whichgoose said 5 years ago


  • theroyal

    theroyal said 5 years ago

    Guillermo del Toro, love that guy

  • mylenefoster

    mylenefoster said 5 years ago

    Wild imagination! It leaves an impression in the mind for a long time.

  • shadowempress

    shadowempress said 5 years ago

    absolutely love it!!! so fun to see the weird things other people can come up with, it always inspires

  • bedouin

    bedouin said 5 years ago

    hauntingly beautiful ~ piqued my interest

  • TigerHouseArt

    TigerHouseArt said 5 years ago

    Great article, loved it. Big fan of fantasy macabre.

  • Stephaniemakesall

    Stephaniemakesall said 5 years ago

    huge talent there! freaky creations!

  • NicoAndMooMoo

    NicoAndMooMoo said 5 years ago

    medieval alien-monsters?!?! This is cool! Thank you for this creepy article! :D

  • lavenderlemon

    lavenderlemon said 5 years ago


  • crookedthorne

    crookedthorne said 5 years ago

    This makes me happy!

  • PaperWaspNest

    PaperWaspNest said 5 years ago

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing

  • enjoyorigano

    enjoyorigano said 5 years ago

    So great thank you for sharing!!!!

  • FunWithNeedles

    FunWithNeedles said 5 years ago

    i love guillermo del toro! this is awesome!!!

  • quirkyshop

    quirkyshop said 5 years ago


  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 said 5 years ago

    The notebooks are stunning in themselves. Oh, the imagination!

  • AmberGypsySky

    AmberGypsySky said 5 years ago

    Fantastic creature his movies :) Pans Labyrinth was so creepy and awesome

  • ghosthaus

    ghosthaus said 5 years ago

    amazing feature! looking forward to checking out the article looooooooove his work :)

  • tigersanddragons

    tigersanddragons said 5 years ago

    Guillermo del Toro ia a genius. When I saw his first film "Chronos", I was captivated. "The Devil's Backbone" gave me the shivers.

  • Rebestein

    Rebestein said 5 years ago

    Love Guillermo del Toro, love the New Yorker article, love this! Thank you! PS. Read his latest novels (the Strain, and the Fall) if you have not already!

  • Squarekitty

    Squarekitty said 5 years ago

    Ahhhhh, I love this man, what an inspiration! His incredible imagination makes me smile after a horrid week at work and I really needed that! His insight is truly unique and beautiful :)

  • Pipkyn

    Pipkyn said 5 years ago

    What cool project to work on! Del Toro is such an amazing talent.

  • OpulentOddities

    OpulentOddities said 5 years ago

    I LOVE him! He's so inspiring!

  • YarnMenagerie

    YarnMenagerie said 5 years ago

    I remember when Pan's Labyrinth came out I devoured everything I could find about his process. Del Toro's journal is amazing enough to cause drooling from writers and visual artists alike. Thanks for reminding me why I love him so much.

  • TripToWonderland

    TripToWonderland said 5 years ago

    Oh, that is awsome.

  • strangeinstereo

    strangeinstereo said 5 years ago

    LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! great feature. now i better go check out this new yorker article.

  • poorjimsvintage

    poorjimsvintage said 5 years ago

    Sheer brillance.

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 5 years ago

    Very exciting!

  • susannanousiainen

    susannanousiainen said 5 years ago


  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 5 years ago

    I'm really looking forward to seeing his version of The Mountain's of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft. I'm sure it'll be terrifying!

  • StudioConestoga

    StudioConestoga said 5 years ago just never know from what dark, creepy, corner a monster inspiration may strike one...

  • sweetlittlefelt

    sweetlittlefelt said 5 years ago


  • stepbackink

    stepbackink said 5 years ago

    That was very intersting I like the bean monster ..amusing :)

  • addiepearl

    addiepearl said 5 years ago

    I love this guy!

  • ranasalame

    ranasalame said 5 years ago

    Just beautiful! I love this directors movies. I think the hellboy series was underrated!

  • thebeadgirl

    thebeadgirl said 5 years ago

    a bit freaky...but very interesting! thanks for sharing!

  • FavreBijoux

    FavreBijoux said 5 years ago

    Interesting post!

  • MyGrandpasPen

    MyGrandpasPen said 5 years ago

    I'll have to look up his films - his name is very familiar but I can't come up with any movies off the top of my head.

  • bmused

    bmused said 5 years ago

    Wow...I love del Toro! He is brilliant! Thanks for sharing the article with us!

  • girliepains

    girliepains said 5 years ago


  • HadaraTLV

    HadaraTLV said 5 years ago

    Interesting. Thank you

  • TashinaFalene

    TashinaFalene said 5 years ago

    Love this! Thanks for sharing. :)

  • Mattie714

    Mattie714 said 5 years ago

    I am a long time fan of del Torro. I absolutely loved this article. Thank you for sharing and including his sketches in the doctumentary...

  • Becjo

    Becjo said 5 years ago

    His work reminds me of the work of Jim Henson's Monster Shop and the drawings of Froud. Not in style but in the way you can recognize a del Toro monster, just as you can recognize a Hens0n creation, from a mile away. If you look at the Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal there is something so original yet cohesive about the monsters in those films that you know who's work it is immediately.

  • depuis

    depuis said 5 years ago

    I've always been a fan of Guillermo's work. Checkout Devil's Backbone for a real nightmare bringing resource :)

  • PatinaArtsAlchemy

    PatinaArtsAlchemy said 5 years ago

    We need our dark artists, and del Torro is one of the best working today.

  • polkadotmagpie

    polkadotmagpie said 5 years ago

    Thanks Michelle. I love sketchbooks come to life. As a former Movie/TV costumer, I have loved his work for years. I flew it out to everyone. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • beckygarratt

    beckygarratt said 5 years ago

    Every time I see inside his sketchbooks I love them a little bit more.

  • odditoria

    odditoria said 5 years ago

    I am so in love with GDT. *sigh*

  • thestapeliacompany

    thestapeliacompany said 5 years ago

    Damn. I love him.

  • necklush

    necklush said 5 years ago

    awesome! we are ready to see his new movie "don't be afraid of the dark" - trailer:

  • audreytolove

    audreytolove said 5 years ago

    very impressive!

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat said 5 years ago

    I love del Toro's work, & although I'm not a huge fan of Pan's Labrinth, I appreciate the way the monsters (but mostly the cinematography) add to the dreamlike quality, despite being very believable.

  • tripperdungan

    tripperdungan said 5 years ago

    Interesting. I tend to not go in the direction of monster sci fi but fuzzy cute side of cryptozoology. Jackalope, friendly ghosts, yeti, unicorns, ext.

  • DieselDOGwear

    DieselDOGwear said 5 years ago

    luv,luv,luv Pan's Labyrinth, I can watch it over and over again.

  • sleekandproud

    sleekandproud said 5 years ago

    Interesting movie.I like to watch making of movie masks,costumes,monster-figures, and so on.They did a good job on the monsters.They look real!

  • kmariedesignz

    kmariedesignz said 5 years ago

    Love your work!

  • kmariedesignz

    kmariedesignz said 5 years ago

    Thanks for sharing.

  • RedMarionette

    RedMarionette said 5 years ago

    Beautiful and quite inspiring. I love his work! Thank you for sharing!

  • EvelynX

    EvelynX said 5 years ago

    Awesome, thanks for sharing :)

  • GypsyHouse

    GypsyHouse said 5 years ago

    thank you for this. his work is amazing and very inspiring. so glad to see this on etsy. <3

  • ArchetypalTheatre

    ArchetypalTheatre said 5 years ago

    I love this! Hooray for keeping beautiful journals of inspiration.

  • AnnTig

    AnnTig said 5 years ago

    Scary and also talented! Thank you.

  • BlkSheepProductions

    BlkSheepProductions said 5 years ago

    We remember seeing some promotional stuff about his sketchbooks when Pan's Labyrinth was first coming out -- thanks for reminding us about this great director and artist!

  • MissHildebrandt

    MissHildebrandt said 5 years ago

    Oh yes, absolute imaginaries!

  • dallasmaynard

    dallasmaynard said 5 years ago

    Wonderful!! Thanks for sharing!! I love monsters :) Takes such amazing imaginable talent to create something so unimaginable!

  • strawberryluna

    strawberryluna said 5 years ago

    Fantastic! He's an amazing filmmaker, and even more so an incredibly interesting person and superbly imaginative artist. So cool, thanks for posting this!

  • Sparkplug95

    Sparkplug95 said 5 years ago

    I'm always about he strange monsters that come from our imagination! There is something so identifiable with the darkness that has twisted from our imagination out onto paper or planted into a fantastic film such as Pans Labrinth.

  • Plinkjewelry

    Plinkjewelry said 5 years ago

    good post

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