My Year of Creative Reading has remained steadfastly sidetracked as of late. I think perhaps that I’m building a new list, rather than just sticking with someone else’s idea of creative reading. One of the latest reads is Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities.
I was attracted to this book because it’s a visual riot. I didn’t know the first thing about del Toro, other than he is a filmmaker, until I picked up this book. I haven’t watched any of his movies. (Have I seen Pan’s Labyrinth? Maybe? Perhaps with my son?)
This book show images of del Toro’s home, which he calls Bleak House. It is filled with all kinds of wonderful items, including the first books he read as a boy and life-sized characters from films. A life-like statue of H.P Lovecraft stands in del Toro’s library. (That would give me the heebie-jeebies if I happened upon his stern face unexpectedly.) The filmmaker takes inspiration from the items he collects and displays them in a less messy fashion than the cabinets of curiosities of old.
Being a creative sort, del Toro has to capture his ideas, which he does in notebooks that are a mix of drawings and descriptions. He has invested a lot of effort into these notebooks in order to pass them along to his children. Whenever del Toro would mention his notebooks to fellow creatives, they would urge him to share them. The result is this book, which is a blend of notebook pages, photos of his house, and essays about del Toro and his process.
It’s a fascinating look at the inner life of a creative person, which is often more instructive than simply reading about how to be creative.