Oct 21, 2019 | TaylorHanson

To Begin Again

What is it to create art? Why do we do it, why do we need it? Maybe we don't. When we began working on efforts in Africa back in 2006, I went through for the very first time a crisis of belief in the idea of being a musician. The thought "I am striving and fighting for this little three minute song, a frivolity aginst the backdrop of people living with issues of life or death just because of their drinking water." This thought was strong, but did not last long. 

In one of the first times returning to Africa in 2007 with our friends at Toms Shoes we were able to first see the impact of the work of Take The Walk. We were alone with a small group of kids, each one living with a death sentence, one day's anti-retroviral drug supply away from the end of their life due to their immune systems being so weak. Despite it all, when they heard music they wanted to dance. They needed to dance and clap and sing. In this moment I had a new perspective. Music and art and creativity, they are the essentials of the heart and soul. They are as critical and vital as the water we drink or food we eat. Without these feelings of joy and connection, we are already dead and without them we find it nearly impossible to find the hope needed to overcome adversity. 

This year has been one for the books. One of seeking the next mountain for music. For me personally it has been a year of seeking, asking questions of meaning and purpose and the value (once again) of the music we make. I am again, more than ever, convinced of the power of music and art to inspire and move. I am also more clear than ever on the importance of each of us to use what we have to impact the world around us. To use our talent, our voice, our experience to walk through doors and chase dreams and fight for things (and stand by our friends and family, which only WE can do). So in a season of creation still ahead and much behind us, be encouraged in whatever it is you do (or are thinking might not really matter). You are a creator. You are an artist. You are the only you. As is true of the painter and the canvas, you are not only the sum of the last painting you did or even the one in front of you. What you do is important and as long as you continue to breathe, you can always begin again. Claim a new canvas, grab a brush, a guitar, a laptop, an excel spreadsheet, a hammer, a camera, a spatula, a diaper bag, a lawn mower, the throttle,  and start. Fail, win, or lose...you can always begin again.



Public Forums | HANSON | To Begin Again - Blog Discussion



Natasha Gilbert
Winfield, KS, US

You know, Taylor, you're one of those people that even though I've followed your career and spoke to you a few times, you've always felt like a complete stranger to me. I never felt connected to you the way I do Zac and sometimes even Isaac. 

However, when you bare your heart and music or Africa, or whatever it is, I finally understand you. You have such a big heart and I wish you wouldn't hide it so much. I miss all of these inspiring speeches. 

I don't have a creative job and it hurts my soul inside. I'm planning on working on getting better at painting and doing some crafting things I used to a few years ago. I miss it. I can't wait to feel that fire again. 

Thanks for all you do. 



Tonya Montigny
East Aurora, NY, US

Thank you for sharing this inspiration, Taylor! I also believe we each hold a spark of something that is meant to be shared-we all have something to offer to others, to make their lives better. Thank  you for your words and for the music that has sparked my passion and creativity for most of my life. I am grateful.



Begin again -- a fresh start, like the spring awakening after a harsh winter.  Life would be pretty unlivable without art and music (and nature, which *is* art and music in itself).  Those things really are essential to the heart and soul.  All I can say is keep doing what you truly love and feel strongly about so, when your day comes, you can say it was a life well lived -- a life with meaning. 

I'm looking forward to Against the World.  I know it will be a creation that is "worth the wait".  ...I don't know anyone more productive than you three.  :)



Your words are always so inspiring and powerful. Thank you for posting this. I hope we could enjoy them more often.




<3 Great message Taylor!



There's been such positive energy coming from the band ever since "String Theory." First, it was Zac and Isaac on the drive back from Alabama in a previously posted video; now, a written blog post by Taylor. There's an enthusiasm for the next chapter of music that I honestly wasn't expecting, and I can't wait to hear how that resonates on "Against the World" and beyond. 

Thank you for this blog post, Taylor. Keep 'em coming!



Beautifully put. I’m the excel spreadsheet kind of artist.

Your music has inspired me more than any other artist. Sometimes it’s just to get up and face what feels like a brick wall I have to bang my head against. But String Theory in particular has finally helped me find confidence in myself. Not just I’m smart and capable, but that I have something to offer that is unique and valuable and if I just keep trying, maybe I can make a difference.

I can’t wait for the next instalment of what you guys create. ATW



What lovely words! Very inspiring! 



Beautifully worded with so much emotion and meaning behind it all! Thankful for your inspiring words!



Kathy Powers
Spring Lake, NJ, US

Beautifully written and SO true.  Thank you, Taylor Hanson.



Sally Nilsen
Auckland, AKL, NZ

Very inspiring and motivating words. I’m sure meeting those children in Africa gave you not only a new perspective on the value of music, but also on the value of life in general. Thank you for encouraging us all to make the most of our lives :)



I loved reading this. Thanks for the inspiration/motivation, Taylor!



A while back, I wrote an essay generally speaking about the root of anxiety, and the importance of self love. As a part of self-care, it's important to participate in the things that bring you joy. For me, my art has been an outlet, and a source of hope and guidance.



Thank you for sharing that. It brought tears to my eyes. Love, positivity, encouragement, belonging- these are the things we need most in this world. Never doubt the importance of what you do, it has made a beautiful and significant  impact on my life and continues to do so. Keep reaching for the sky.



I love this. Thank you for sharing. I fully believe that we as humans are compelled to create art because we were created in the image of a Creator. 



Jessica Wimp
Jeffersonville, Indiana, US

I love this!



 You are really getting it. I am so glad I read this.  Thank you, TH.



I absolutely love this. I say often how much I love art. I will never stop creating. It fuels my soul and I love making people happy. Your music is so powerful it has helped me through many tough times and always makes me smile



Jackie Boos
Roanoke, Texas, US

Thank you for your beautiful words. I love creating music and listening to music, but both have been severely lacking in my life lately due to the crazy-busy life I lead as a mom and teacher. It feels as if a part of me has died, and I need to work hard to get it back. This is a great reminder that we need to make the time for those things that make us truly feel alive!



so to answer my own question from page one ....Taylor DID shave his beard a bit! Glad to see them on the road and even happier to see the abridged edition of Taylor’s beard on their last twitter pic ...they are crazy talented, beautiful people, those three!



Thank you Taylor. I feel blessed by reading your words. The questions and seeking you’ve done this year, have led you to such a beautiful conclusion, that the connection we feel through art, music and creativity is vital to our very being. We all have the tools we need to express the creativity that is within us. Thank you for the inspiration that each day is a new one to begin again. Anything dreamt can be made real. And yes, we are all artists :)

Your music is resiliency, attitude, swagger, vulnerability, happiness, exuberance, heart and soul. Your music is freedom. Your music transports me and all of your fans to another dimension. Your music is energy. There is nothing like it. And I for one am proud to call you my favorite band. This year has been one for the books for me too. Looking forward to ATW!!! Thank you again.



Kirsten Slaney
Watford, On, CA

Awww.... this is such a lovely post <3



I love this post so much.



Carrie Nairn
Hagerstown , Maryland , US

Taylor , I  can't express to you how this inspired me . i mean you've always inspired me  but this is truly so encouraging and so beautifully written  ,. thank you . I am moving towards a new part in my career next year and its partly because of your charity work . I've worked and volunteered at many charitable organizations and this year  I made a commitment  to make it  for  real , by  getting my own side degree in Human services - I want to work with people with disabilities , but I'll take where ever it leads  . you have now kind of rather pushed to just do what I've been talking about for the past 12 years . Thank you for always telling it as your heart sees it , no matter how long winded that may seem .

All the best Carrie



Kristin Wilson
Hampton, VA, US

I love this T! You can find art, creation, inspiration in so many things. I love to cook and inspire others to be healthy and as a nurse I hope to be able to influence others in positive ways as well. I admire that you take your talents and use them to inspire others. It works in an amazing way! 

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