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Updated on January 21, 2014

Me and My Lensography

This Lens is a treasure map to my Squidoo Lenses (and to a few Blogs and so on too). There IS a hidden method to all this madness - really there is! - and this is the place to find it.

The secret is that I'm fascinated with Design.

All sorts of design.

I love the idea of creating worlds... whether that means a building, a book, a theater set, or a blog. (Naturally I find Squidoo completely addictive!) When I read, I love books full of imagination and new worlds. My taste in film runs to sci-fi and fantasy. And theater? Theater set design is a dream for me - a chance to literally create alternate worlds.

(BTW There's been a Holiday Slump in new Squidoo lens production, but look here soon-ish for new pages. Life gets busy, y'know?)

A Panto woods with actors - a theater model, design by Clare Floyd DeVries
A Panto woods with actors - a theater model, design by Clare Floyd DeVries

First a brief detour...



Getting Started on Squidoo

Why start making Squidoo pages?

In my case, it was because I had a book I wanted to publicize. To do that, I realized I needed to demonstrate to potential readers a little, you know, expertise. After all, why buy a book from an author you'd never heard of? Did she even know her stuff?

These questions led me to research ways to write internet articles on my topic. Hubpages, eHow, etc. I looked at them all. Of them all, Squidoo seemed the best designed visually and one of the simplest and best to use, with a low threshold for entry, yet attracting mostly serious writers. There was a commercial bent to the site (after all, I want to sell some books here!), but Squidoo articles were often a lot meatier than you'd expect, with substantial content. (Other sites went the other way: great title, little content.) That Seth Godin is more or less Head Squid was also a plus - I'd read some of his books and he seemed a shrewd guy. The more I studied Squidoo, the better it looked.

Once I started writing on Squidoo I discovered that it was, yes, a well designed and intuitive system for creating worthwhile web content. I also found that the "game-ified" design of Squidoo's system made it fun! My new articles were sending more traffic to my book publisher and my blog; my Google rank jumped; and (eventually) I even made a couple unexpected bucks. I was hooked. Now I've crafted quite a few Lenses (as pages are called here) and expect I'll make more... Squidoo is rewarding for me. Maybe for you too?

Try it! - you might like it.

(And you might make a little money too.)

Now, back to the Lensography...

A Commedia dell'Arte character.
A Commedia dell'Arte character.

Theater Lenses

(And, okay, film too)

Theater pages are my specialty - with set design pages my most... scenic? Most heart-felt anyway. I'm branching out into other theater topics now, but I started with - and return to - technical theater. Those are the (mostly) backstage arts of designing and building scenery, and the costumes, lighting, sound designs, as well as the texts themselves, the playwright's work.

Acting I mostly leave to the actors - though I love to watch! Most people already know something about acting; my goal is to tell the rest of the theater story.

I can't tell you how much I love scenic design. (150 shows worth?) But drop by one of those Lenses and maybe you'll be able to guess.

3 Ways to Improve Your Theater Set

Three suggestions on how to improve the design of your theater set - whatever your budget.

3 More Ways to Improve Your Theater Set

Um... Three more ways?

Theater Set Questions Answered

Readers' questions tend to be more about building than design. A few answers.

This is by far my most popular Lens - with many interesting questions from readers, if you care to scroll through the Q & A at the bottom.

Virtual Theater Bookshop

Good theater books can be hard to find and brick-n-mortar stores don't carry much..

Theater Posters

I love these great graphic posters!.

Commedia dell'Arte

A fascinating tradition of the Italian comedy stage.

Dallas Fort Worth Area Theater

My theatrical sandbox... come play!

Theater for Children

Start 'em young.

Children's Stages and Theaters

Kid-size stages.

Gifts for Theater Folk

Theater related gift ideas.

Decorative and Scenic Painting

An easy painting technique - scumbling - taken from stage to home.

Decorative Painting Techniques

On-stage or at home.

Alice Through the Proscenium

I'm very proud of this: my how-to book on theater set design. The book I wished I'd had when I first started designing for the stage.

Thrifty Shopping for Home (or theater) Decor

The other BIG skill theater has taught me - how to shop cheap!

Go Green Onstage

Environmental Sustainability for theater - Why and How.

Production Designers Talk

Interviews (mainly) with film and TV production designers, a job very similar to theater scenic design.

And then a couple Lenses (first of many, I suspect) on favorite theater shows:

Sweeney Todd the Musical

Love this Sondheim show.

Enchanted April

A lovely play not enough people have heard about.

Alice Through the Proscenium: - More scenic set design

This is my how-to theater scenic design book. Alice covers the whole design process, from first reading the play script, to final strike.

This book started as notes to myself (often "Don't do THAT again!") from my very first set design... through a hundred-ish more. Wisdom from experience! You can find sample chapters and more on its Lens above.

Architecture Lenses

I am a practicing architect. That is my area of training and experience. Nowadays I'm doing theater set design, a little architecture, and I'm starting to do a little architecture for theater design. Perfect!

So, naturally, I'm also starting to make some architectural Lenses.

I'd like to help with the everyday problems people have with buildings... Eventually, I hope to help explain what "architecture" means and why regular folk might want some. Like appreciating art or fine wine, most people think architecture is only for the rich.

We ALL deserve well-designed buildings.

But for now, I'll share the pragmatic stuff... well, and some of the inspiring stuff:

Surviving the Remodeling of Your Home

what you need to know for home building and renovation. Don't start without it!

Easy Green Home

Start making your home more sustainable - including small things you can do right now.

Easy Green Yard

More green ideas, this time for your yard.

Architecture and Building Toys

Start 'em young indeed! Great creative toys for all ages.

The Architecture of Palladio

The famous and influential classical architect, Andrea Palladio.

Outsider Art and Houston's The Orange Show

Kind of anti-Palladio... A Lens on unconventional art and specifically the hand-built environment The Orange Show..

A couple of my "theater" Lenses overlap into architecture too, like Decorative Painting and Thrifty Decor Shopping above.

Books and Writing Lenses

I'm a big reader. Bookish. That's the only possible word. Very Bookish.

Naturally, all my Lenses involve books somehow. (My Virtual Theater Book Shop has more than a few!) But, so far, my Lenses just about books start with the Lens on my own how-to theater book Alice Through the Proscenium. Followed by the micro-press used to publish it...

Alice Through the Proscenium: more scenic set design

The Lens of the Book.

Wing'd Tower Press

A page about the Press, of course, but also full of information on writing, publishing, and promoting your book.

Summer Reading for Writers

Listing and discussing my favorite books by writers ON writing. Great reads!

Why Buy a NOOK?

Why this Constant Reader made the eLeap... and why you too should consider the NOOK.

The Vorkosigan Series

My very favorite science fiction (among other things) long-form series of novels.

I think my theater Lenses on Enchanted April and Sweeney Todd aaaalmost fit into this book category too.

World Building Lenses

This exciting new category I made up to fit these indefinable Lenses. Pages full of invented worlds. They cover books, films, plays, and the visual arts... centered on particular imaginative worlds. So far:

World Building: Introduction and Pirates

A Lens about the exciting imaginary worlds of piracy (the literary kind, not the Somali) and castaways.

World Building: The Supernatural

A light-hearted look at vampires, werewolves, zombies... and haunted castles

Latest Reads - (non-fiction)

Among the books (or films etc) that I've been reading or watching recently, this is one I really recommend:

Pantone: The Twentieth Century in Color
Pantone: The Twentieth Century in Color

A terrific resource for designers... or for anyone else interested in color! A decade by decade survey of the color trends of the last century. Beautifully illustrated.


(and fiction)

This series by Ben Aaronovitch is a wild-hit-favorite! for me right now.

Sorta a police proceedural... if the London policeman were a grown-up Harry Potter. Clever, funny, violent, occult, and wonderfully inventive. The series starts with The Rivers of London (AKA Midnight Riot in the U.S., who knows why?). It's followed by Moon Over SOHO, then Whispers Underground. All excellent.

Rivers of London (PC Grant)
Rivers of London (PC Grant)

Fun, fast, quirky, urban-fantasy police-proceedural. Highly recommended.


About Me

My Squidoo handle is cdevries, but my stage name (so to speak) is Clare Floyd DeVries. That's what appears in theater programs.

I am an architect and a theater set designer (with some film and TV experience). I am also a collage artist (Squidoo pages are sure to follow on that topic). And I'm a writer both here at Squidoo and elsewhere.

In my spare time (Ha!) I read a lot, watch movies and plays, travel... The cultural stuff I run across in my work and in my spare time all make it into my Blog "Design Diary"

Design Diary

A blog and culture diary from the desk of a theater set designer.

...Ensuring that I do not, in fact, have a lot of spare time! But I'm having fun. And here's my set design website:

DeVries Design

The (not quite up-to-date) set design website. (It's all that Squidooing, honest!)

Visitor Poll

Have you visited any of my other Lenses?

See results

Suggestions for Lenses I Ought to Write?

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    • cdevries profile image

      cdevries 3 years ago

      @Old Navy Guy: That Xray experience sounds fascinating - I love how architecture gets you into the guts of how unusual businesses and operations really work! I agree with you on freelance versus big-firm experience... It's much more fun to be involved in it ALL (part of the reason i like theater so much). Thanks for visiting and for your kind comment!

    • Old Navy Guy profile image

      Old Navy Guy 3 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your inspirations. I dabbled in architecture for many years myself, primarily designing x-ray labs for hospitals. From not only lead lining requirements but support for the equipment requested. All electrical and structural requirements. Working as a single designer was much more fulfilling than working in a large firm and only being allowed small portions of every design. I enjoyed this lens and thank you for sharing. Cheers.

    • cdevries profile image

      cdevries 5 years ago

      @askformore lm: You're kind, thank you.

    • askformore lm profile image

      askformore lm 5 years ago

      Thanks for great insiration!

    • cdevries profile image

      cdevries 5 years ago

      @opatoday: Well, thank you! That's very kind. I'm awed by the Disney connection - THERE are folks who understand the importance of building a world! I got to briefly work with someone who carded Disney rock... beautiful.

    • opatoday profile image

      opatoday 5 years ago

      Not only am I going to buy your book I would love to feature it on my lens about painting waterfalls and link to you as well, I am a fan and I think your lenses are a blessing they have inspired me, I paint rock at Disney and I get you 100%, I love to make Magic happen and so do you!

      Thank You


    • cdevries profile image

      cdevries 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks! More art and craft lenses are coming sloooowly...

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Love the lensography.....i would love to read more lenses on art and craft.