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Using bonsai to become more creative

Creativity boils down to alternative ways of thinking and will play a considerable role in all areas of life, whether we know it or not. Where we really see creativity prevail is when we're staring in the face of the lovey obstacles or challenges that life decides to to hand us unexpectedly, but sometimes we're backed in to a corner and forced to be creative. What usually follows is silence coupled with the image of tumbleweeds and the sound of empty space - or maybe that's just us. So HOW can we become more creative and can it be learnt? Well, we genuinely feel we working with the most enlightening tool of all: Bonsai. Let us tell you how...

Efforts enhancing our creativity can start almost immediately just by finding a home for your bonsai, as a 2015 Study of Danish creative professionals found. Natural environments offer the perceived sensory dimensions of ‘Nature’, ‘Space’ and ‘Serene’, all of which found to be of particular importance throughout the creative thinking process. Furthermore, it made particular reference to how introducing nature to the working environment has the ability to evoke more curious and malleable way of creative thinking. So it seems we're off to a pretty good start.

In a more generalised fashion, its also worth noting that our journey through the art of bonsai itself will play a role in helping us be a little more creative in our thinking. In fact, building any unfamiliar knowledge outside the field we're looking to be creative in, no matter how obscure, can have a profound effect. New ideas can be harvested from interconnections between the weird and wonderful so, the more we learn and experience, the wider our scope is for originality.

So we know both having a bonsai around and learning more about the craft can help positively influence creativity, but how can we take this one step further?

The answer to this lies within the characteristics of our bonsai: The Elm, Ficus and Afra. It's known to most that creativity breeds creativity. Its not something that applies to some and not too all. It lies within us all and just takes a gentle nudge in the right direction. The more time we spend being creative, the more creative we'll become and these trees give us the opportunity to have plenty of engagement. For instance:

  • These varieties of bonsai grow incredibly fast when catered to well, therefore requiring a lot of intervention with pruning and styling.
  • Their durability and ability to flex is perfect for enthusiasts and aspiring bonsai masters looking to get hands on with wiring their trees.

We've cut these characteristics off short because each tree is truly unique, warranting much more than a short bullet point. But this is all part of our creative development: to learn more about the weird and wonderful things nature has to offer. For instance, one of the more unique abilities of our tropical bonsai, the Ficus, is its ability to grow roots from the branches which look to ground themselves within the soil below. They're known as aerial roots and will grow when subject to high humidity, leading to some truly magnificent bonsai designs.

Whether it's general creativity or tree-ativity, it seems the more we're able to immerse ourselves within expressive, inventive or experimental activities, the more creatively minded we can become.

In an effort to fuel this further, all our mindfulness care guides (which come with the bonsai) are accompanied with some origami paper and guides. So try it for yourself the next time you feel like you're in a creative rut. Grab a piece of A4 paper, tear it into a square make us a crane. Feel free to tag us in a post online so we can share your creative efforts to help others. Use #thehappyshrub too