Intriguedbybonsai - You should try to make contact with Ted Matson and with Bonsai Boon - https://bonsaiboon.com/. We have had both of them at our local club(s) and I think you would really enjoy the experience.
If the only nearby club (San Diego) doesn't float your boat and you can not get to any others - try this - join it anyway. For the cost of membership at least you can gain access to programs that do appeal to you. The club calendar (check it out on their web-site) will tell you what speakers, workshops, special events are scheduled. If you see 'Boon', Ted Matson, Dan Robinson, Ryan Neal, Bjorn Bjornholm coming to the San Diego club you should swallow your youthful pride and join in. Attend the programs that you feel will appeal to you. As a member you qualify and can gain access. That is worth the cost of dues.
OR, and I'm serious about this, start your own club from scratch. It's a challenge but it can be done. and I believe you've got the tools to do it.