Nurse your bonsai creativity as an artist

One of the most important lessons I have learned throughout the years of practising bonsai, is to overcome the obstacles and release creativity. Obstacles can be learning all the styling techniques and necessary gardening skills. Most of that you can learn through practising bonsai and studying at local clubs or online here at Kisetsu-en.

Creativity is something that must be in you but it also needs to be nursed. If you are always stopped by “this is not how to do it” and “this is not how the Japanese do it” you will be held back in your development as a bonsai enthusiast and bonsai lover.

There are a lot of people knowing what to do and how it should be done correctly. But what is correct? If we continue to do like we always have done we will not move far.

And I am not the fastest mover at all. Just ask my wife about that 😂. 

The artist approach

My wife is a professional artist. She paints the most amazing detailed pictures. They are filled with layers and details, but also free in interpretation. Although there is a clear message behind every one of them, they can be read very differently from viewer to viewer.

What I have learned from her is to be more open-minded and take in what I see. Not being afraid of what is not traditional and what may annoy me.

I try to bring that into my stubborn traditional mind and let my approach to bonsai be the same. Open to new ideas but also bring tradition with me. As artists first learn to draw classic lines, giving them a fundament to lean back on when exploring new ways of doing things.

Loving the classic. Embracing the modern.

What I rejected earlier I now embrace. Not that I am not critical and have a love for special styles and design. But on my road trip with bonsai, I drive by many different interesting concepts and ideas. Some of this I just pass. At other places, I stop and take it in. Adding more to my palette of understanding bonsai as art, and exploring new ideas at the same time as I feel the love of the classical bonsai concept.

Bonsai is a newer ending learning road trip. As long as there is fuel I carry on driving.

In the Monthly Bonsai Video Magazine, one of the videos is focused on a new way of presenting and creating bonsai. Borrowing from the past and adding a modern touch.

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