How I got started:
About 6 years ago somebody purchased me a small Juniper bonsai from a florist as a gift. I subsequently killed it through over-watering and keeping it indoors. This really upset and irritated me because I didn’t understand what I did wrong. My initial reaction soon turned into an obsession, reading every bit of info and watching every Bonsai video I could find online. The past 6 years have been a very steep learning curve, the more I learn about Bonsai, the more I realise I don’t know. My journey to date has been a very humbling pursuit that has taught me much respect and patience.
I have been very lucky to have two exceptional Bonsai mentors in my life who’ve instrumental in helping me develop and continue to mature as an artist. Leong Kwong from Bonsai South in Sydney was my very first teacher and to this day continues to share his experiences and skills with me. Leong’s nickname for me is “Mr Yesterday”, as I was always trying to make trees develop according to my timeline and schedule, which resulted in some very hard and expensive lessons.
The second is Ryan Neil from Bonsai Mirai, whom I continue to study with every year. Studying with Ryan is an honour and has provided me with many fundamental skills and techniques that I’m continuing to hone and improve upon every day. Ryan very quickly made me realise, that near enough is not good enough. Every time I touch a tree, it needs to be done with purpose, precision and to the best of my technical ability.
What does bonsai mean to me:
Bonsai to me is an opportunity to reconnect with nature, whilst at the same time allowing me to express myself creatively as an artist. In my everyday life I’m extremely busy within the world of business and always find myself in a state of hurry or on a schedule. Practising Bonsai for me is a form of involuntary meditation that makes the rest of my world fade into the background. Put simply, when I’m practising Bonsai, nothing else matters.