Bonsai Mindset

Stealing Is Art

A favorite hobby of mine is stealing.

Not borrowing. That assumes I'll give it back.

calvin and hobbes dorm room wall

Stolen! (for personal admiration, not sale)

If I see an idea worth swiping, I won't hesitate. If I hadn't stolen, there wouldn't be this in my dad's office, or this print hanging on someone's wall across the country. 

I have to steal; my artistic life depends on it. I take the...

I Learned Geometry In Art Class

I learned geometry in art class.

Wood design, more specifically. My middles school decided that Algebra II and trig was more important than Pythagoras, so we pretty much skipped triangles and parallelograms entirely.

Late-teen me was no troublemaker; I colored within the lines and liked to draw them as straight as possible. So in the wood shop I thought, wouldn't a geometric table look awesomely symmetrical?

So 16-year-old me sneaks into the drawing and painting room after school and ripped off a large ream of large-size paper and snagged a 3-foot ruler on the way out (sorry Mr. Barry). 

And I...

What Do Bonsai Mean?

"The deep blue curtain represents the blueness of the author's depression that mirrored the disenchantment of the younger generation following the war...:

- Some high school English teacher out there


We love to over-interpret. The color of the bench in the far left corner of the painting means X or the inclusion of that extra comma in the sentence must mean Y. Sometimes, yeah, maybe that's the right explanation.

Other times, a load of bs.

When I draw my own art, I should get to decide what the pieces...

Bringing Trees Back To Life

We've all seen this after a particularly severe storm:

tree fallen on car

How sad! Trees of 40, 50, even a 100 years, gone in a flash.

But where there's misfortune, there's always opportunity:

That's a lot of lumber for one fallen tree.

Almost a decade ago, there was a historic storm like that in my hometown of Pasadena, California: no hurricane country. Heavy rain—the once-in-a-century-cats-and-dogs-kind—and tornado level winds took out 30% of the tree population in the region. School was cancelled and the power out for the week.

The next Monday, my woodshop teacher...

There's (Bonsai) Treasure Everywhere

calvin and hobbes treasure everywhere

Calvin has the right vision for the world, and he's only six!

"The map says there's a huge hole here, so I guess we start digging!"

If there's no treasure where the map says there is, make it so!

Finding magic-like inspiration becomes exponentially easier once you realize that it's everywhere! It's in the dinosaur-shaped cloud in the sky, the tree that looks like a hitchhiker by the side of the road, or the bush that seems to waddle with the wind. 

Why search for magic when you can let it...