It seems to me Mr. Neil has tried to set himself up to make money in bonsai. He said in part one he never got his bonsai questions answered, but Mr. Ben Oki too him to Japan? So if Ben Oki can’t answer your bonsai questions, you have a problem. It seems to me Mr. Neil wanted a status, like many U.S people who goto Japan to learn bonsai, so when they came back they can be a bonsai “GOD” and make a lot of money. In this last part Mr. Neil says he is taking apprentices on..Wow, only after 6 years of bonsai in Japan? Which according to his numbers is like only 3 years….I will tell you there were people in that demo he was doing that has more hard earned effort than he has, and in Japan he learned only the basic’s. The difference is he got a lot of repetition in wiring and potting etc…He is merely coping the artistic style of Kimura Sensei.I would warn all that Mr. Neil is young, and full of fire..His true intention it too make money, as any young person would. As such, his advice and what he says should be taken with a grain of salt and always, you can do bonsai. Going to Japan does not make you any better at bonsai that doing what you like here in the US. Mr. Neil does make excellent points on how to keep a tree healthy and the importance of that. I would like it to me known I am writing this because Mr. Neil has had some very harsh things he has said about people bonsai’s, and in one critique video even said “This tree is best of show here, but outside of here it is worth nothing”. In this he referred to any tree outside of Japans tree’s are worth nothing.
Are you kidding me?
I sense a lot of jealousy coming from you. I commend anyone who can make a living off bonsai, no matter how they go about doing it – as long as they are doing it honestly.
Ryan has undeniable skill and is an extremely eloquent presenter. Have you seen the work on his website?
“Going to Japan does not make you any better at bonsai that doing what you like here in the US.”
6 years of working in Kimura’s garden doesn’t make you better than you would be if you spent 6 years dicking around in your backyard? You must be kidding me! In that six years he has probably practiced more advanced techniques on REAL BONSAI than 99% of of Americans will do in their lifetime. Note that I said PRACTICED. Not “read about on the internet or in some book”.
Who cares if he says harsh things about people’s bonsai? As long as he is being constructive. In the US we are too afraid of hurting people’s feelings. If Ryan said the tree was crap, it probably was. And I don’t doubt he followed up or preceded his comment with something constructive. Hopefully the owner of that tree is now more motivated to improve their collection.
For the record, I have never met Ryan. I am basing my opinion entirely on the videos of his demos and his portfolio.
Your attitude is precisely whats holding back bonsai in America.
not being funny but you are 29 years old and you have been doing this for 6 years.
what makes you think that you are such an expert?
too young and too cooky
You are confusing cockiness with confidence.
And his confidence is well deserved.
Look at his portfolio. He is an expert.
or should I say cocky?
my personal view bout this is age doesn’t make you or not good bonsai artist.on the rhe things that he said maybe they try to show those bonsai in other place say japan or u.k. anywhere just to show him if he has a point.and if those tree don’t win maybe we should strive for more.lol
I think that age doesn’t play a part with Ryan.
He was trained by one of the best if no the best and most innovative bonsai artists in the world. Maybe that is why he thinks he is so good?
Would it make you feel better if he had won awards for bonsai, if so witch ones? What makes one bonsai award better than the other?
These guys are just jealous.
Thank you for taking the time to post these videos.
Perhaps you were not breast fed as a baby and now you are very bitter. Live and let live. I am Glad Ryan is making money. I wish I could afford to give him some of mine so I can improve my trees. I also have not met him and hope some of his “fire” rubs off on me. The previous poster is correct. We are to sensitive to critiques of our art here and the majority of our trees are not fit for fire wood in Kimura’s garden.
I would bet your negitivity is reflected in your trees. I hope you chill out a little learn that you can learn something from almost anybody.
What a good demonstration, Very good work Ryan, love it, never thought it would be so great after the first styling!
if i can say something here… I hope with all my heart Age doesn’t play a role in Bonsai. To put things into a different light, i have dedicated my life and passion to the art of Bonsai for the last 4 years and am well aware that to have any Tree i am proud of it will be 30 years from now until i ‘might’ see that dream come to fruition. This in mind, for the last 18 years i have been playing/taking/giving Guitar lessons and been in bands and have even been a ‘paid’ musician leading worship and teaching seminars and to say one thing, it would AMAZE me to see kids who it seemed the day before picked up a guitar for the first time and the next day where tearing out scales and modes it seemed for me to take years to learn. i hope the same with Ryan, that his desire and passion supersede his desire for money, it is human to desire money/income/stability and we can all hope to find that doing something we love. As far as Ryans work/wiring/styling go, its plain to see he learned from one of the best, for my views it would be like going to study Guitar with Clapton- no matter what you say, spending enough time around someone with that much knowledge of an art-form it is bound that some great wisdom will overflow from their brain into yours, even if that knowledge doesn’t directly speak to the art-form itself, personality/traits/lifestyle reflect your artwork. and yes while i would never be a guitar player like Clapton I’d hope to represent what i learned. Yes, his attitude might leave something to be desired but i guarantee mine does too, and so do many others, take the positive out of an art-form we love and make it better. and i would think even 10 minutes in Kimura’s Garden would make you a better Bonsai artist, you’d have to be crazy to think otherwise.
Sorry to burst everyone’s bubble, but Ruan Neil isn’t doing bonsai for the money. He doesn’t NEED the money. Where do you think the funds for taking 6 years off work, buying the best yamadori in America from Randy Knight, and the very pricey piece of land in Oregon where Bonsai Mirai is, came from? Isn’t wasn’t from bonsai kids. Ryan has money. He’s abrasive and harsh and acts the way he does, not because he’s a dick, and not because he needs money from bonsai, but because he NEEDs bonsai in America to be better. He should be commended for saying the things people should have been saying for years. There are two kinds of bonsai, and no styles, good bonsai, and bad bonsai. Why waste your time with the latter.
Enthusiasts spend hours and hours working on mediocre material that makes mediocre bonsai, but because they’ve spent so much time and effort with them, the “rose-tinted glasses” of parenthood make them much better than they really are. Don’t show mediocre trees or trees that aren’t ready for show, and this becomes a non-issue.
I am fortunate to be pretty good friends with Ryan and it is kinda shocking to hear all this. I know him as an extremely talented, driven guy who is motivated by jaw dropping trees….not money. To my knowledge he put himself through college at least partially with money he earned by collecting Yamadori in his native Colorado. I know for a fact he is not in this for the money. There will always be haters, but some of this is insane talk. I realize the post made by “Robert” is almost a year old but it reaks of stupidity and envy. I wonder if Robert can even wire a tree! Ryan was a talented bonsai artist years before his apprenticeship with Kimura san, and I think he has many yrs. of bonsai study under his belt. As far as being cocky and abrasive I also disagree. He is supremely more nice to be around than many of the other bonsai professionals I have met. What is impressive about him is his ability to work with the fantastic native trees we have available to us as Americans. Its hard to argue the talent of a man who can bend a 3 inch thick rocky mountain juniper branch and turn a difficult collected tree into true art. America needs to spend more time in the nursery…wiring…studying…collecting and LEARNING and less time throwing rocks and internet barbs at each other. I feel he (and several others) have already raised the bar of American Bonsai threefold and the future looks brighter than ever. I have over 27 yrs. in Bonsai and I can honestly say he is the most talented artist I have ever worked with. Lets try to be positive and continue improving the quality of American bonsai and leave the catfights to the sorority girls.
“He is supremely more nice to be around than many of the other bonsai professionals I have met”
Agreed! I’m 16 years old, met him at Noelanders Trophy in Belgium this year and he was very kind, he even explained (after the demonstration) to me some things that weren’t clear to me.
He has worked very hard and I really envy his work. First look at yourself before looking at others.
Ryan is manna from heaven for bonsai in the USA. Welcome him with open hearts, diss him at your peril. Many students working with masters in Japan are from the states, on their return are they too going to be castigated. Stop staring at your own navels and learn from one of the Wests very best bonsai artists… why else would the Noelanders Trophy invite Ryan two years in a row… NO OTHER ARTIST has had this honour bestowed on them.
I just came across these postings and felt the need to add my own comments.
As to Tony’s “manna from heaven” comment, I say AMEN! Although the USA has a number of fine bonsai artists, I would find it difficult to name a better combination of artist and teacher than Ryan Neil.