Think before you start
Keeping Bonsai creates an important responsibility for the owner. Just as keeping animals, Bonsai trees need a lot of attention. When you go on holiday as with animals your trees will need looking after. And of course they need to be watered and fertilised regularly. The larger your collection becomes the more work it will give you. It can also turn out to be an expensive hobby once you really get stuck into it. Not only the trees, but also the tools and the pots can be quite expensive. And disappointment always lurks around the corner when diseases or fatal errors occur.
As a beginner in the art of Bonsai I discovered and learned a great deal from Peter Chan. This Chinese gentleman has an amazing Bonsai nursery in Lingfield - Surrey - UK. He started experimenting with Bonsai in 1967. I have never met the man but I find his youtube videos are very inspiring to learn a great deal about bonsai. The way he explains this subject is very pragmatic and accessible. Which is not always the case with other great bonsai artists and collectors.
Less is more
'Less is more' is a quote that Peter Chan often uses.
Personally I thinks it says a lot about the philosophy about Bonsai. Don't be afraid to get your hands stuck into your trees and shape them to Bonsai. Important is to remove enough green to show the shape of the trunk and the shape of your tree. So don't be afraid of pruning but know that once a branch has been removed it can't be put back again. Also a simple pot can be more attractive than an expensive decorated one.
Nowadays there is a huge interest in the art of Bonsai and many shows and exhibitions are being held worldwide. Visiting a couple of these exhibitions (e.g. The Bonsai Trophy Genk) gave me the opportunity to see magnificent pieces. Some of these are worth a fortune and are of a considerable age.
You'll see and learn a lot at these shows. And it's a great opportunity to meet people that share the same passion.