The Bonzai Tree as Metaphor
Being able to express your life through the distinct discipline of growing Bonzai Trees, either for sale or for personal enrichment, can be thought of as a micro representation of one's overall life span. First you have an empty vessel which needs much care and consideration. You then decide on what shape you want to eventually attain in your Bonsai Tree. You being working towards that shape, pruning, cutting, shaping, and shearing away all the unwanted material until you reach that point where your Bonzai Tree matures and becomes a distinct representation of nature, hope, beauty and possibility.
Once you have reached this stage in the life of your Bonsai Tree you can then work on refining the process so that your tree or shrub will become even more distinctive in it's form and allow you to reach a deeper representation of nature. You can begin to add some personalisation by including some other natural features into your vessel. You could add some small smooth rock or some green ground cover to emulate the real natural world that would be seen surrounding the larger, full size tree or shrub of your particular Bonsai Tree species. This is known as sai-kei, reproducing miniature landscapes in nature, which further investigates the diverse range of artistic possibilities for bonsai and if you plan on selling Bonsai Trees will create great value.
Bonzai Tree as Creative, Spontaneous Expression
You could also take a completely different direction. You could work carefully through the process of creating your Bonzai Tree by using very specific techniques to create something, altogether, unworldly. You could have chosen to take a completely different approach, such as, a style called, "netsuranari sinuous", sinuous bonsai have multiple trees growing from a single sinuous root. 5 needle pine are most commonly used for this style. You could, in effect, grow a small grove of trees and really expand your expressive tendacies.
Perhaps you are even more ambitious and would like to really sink you teeth into some really tough Bonsai techniques. You could choose to create a totally unique representation by growing your sinuous Bonsai Tree using the informal or 'comic' (bunjin) style, where the trunks are thinner at the bottom and then become wider towards the top, thus creating a fantastic shape and form.