A Day At The Creativity Lab

What is the Creativity Lab? Storyteller, practitioner, and writer Angela Lloyd gives an account of a recent Creativity Lab that took place on the westside.

Those of us who have participated in the Shambhala Art teacher training are encouraged to offer what we have learned to the community at large.

One opportunity is to lead a 1/2 day workshop. It has resulted in the new monthly gatherings on the Westside SMCLA called Creativity Lab.

People who have attended Creativity Labs have come to anticipate a contemplative ground for their practice.

On April 13th 2013 two dozen people including myself, gathered at the Westside Shambhala Center. April’s Creativity Lab was led by Anne Saitzyk and assisted by Franny Smith.
Anne is one of co-directors of the Westside Shambhala Center and she is an art instructor at Art Center College of Design.
The Creativity Lab does not always broadcast what the art discipline will be in advance. I did not know what to expect when we came to the Center.

What we found was the floor was covered with long sheets of crispy white paper.
Meditation cushions were set up on either side.
shrine overview

Each “place setting” had a paper plate, paper towel, a grey glove, and a scrap of clean cotton rag,  to the side  you found a white paper cup with black-black acrylic paint.

place setting

Before we worked with our materials Franny Smith gave a brief instruction for meditation,  we had a short practice time,  and then the creative work began.

We centered our bodies, and then we were instructed to put on the gloves, and create our brush.  We could fold or roll the rag any way we wanted.

Anne read a quote from Chogyam Trungpa’s book  “True Perception”.

We put paint on one page at a time. Once, twice, three  pages.

glove brush

Hands to work….

three marks




dot in space

We made a horizontal line
horizontal line



then a vertical line

then we made a third mark that connected the two.

People were invited to share their experience.

We began again.

A brand new page.

We made a stroke.  Space. (Heaven)

On the same page, we made a second stroke. Form. (earth)

We made a third stroke or dot to complete the work. Energy.( Human)

Another way to express those concepts is “ heaven, earth, human”.



PS: Note:

(in folk tales  the words “One day” signal that everything is about to change).


One day,

after we made our black  black mark –

We were instructed to move one position to the right.

Leave home.

We departed.

Took our seat on someone else’s cushion.

Took up someone else’s rag.

We made a second stroke on another’s paper.

Then we moved again.

It became a community art project.

I found it very moving to touch another persons “home-made brush”.

group art

We stood up to looked at all of the pages on the floor against a white paper landscape.

I looked back to see what had become of my home page.

For the final step.

We added red.
red added



moremore red


The lab ended with a short reading  and a few questions about the work for us to answer in our own time and our own way.

Some folks took their pages home,

Others left them behind.

left over1

left over 2

The next Creativity Lab will be on July 13, 11-1pm. We will be using small objects and jasmine rice.

Angela Lloyd

Angela Lloyd, MFA is a storyteller, musician, and teaching artist. “I learned early on that storytelling was a way to “tell what we see”. Shambhala Art (taught in five parts) and Teacher training /studies have supported my contemplative practice. It continues to inform the process when making art.

Whether it be photographs, music, poetry or story, they inform my appreciation and subsequently the view. http://www.angelalloyd.com


2 thoughts on “A Day At The Creativity Lab