What the White Stripes can teach you about creativity

Jack White is the lead guitarist and vocalist for the rock band, The White Stripes.  Since 1997, they’ve produced 6 studio albums, 26 singles, 14 videos, 3 Grammys and one tour documentary.  He believes in forcing constraints on yourself and thinking inside the box to spark creativity.

 “Force yourself into it,” he says, “book only 4 or 5 days in the studio and force yourself to record an album in that time. Deadlines and things make you creative but opportunity and telling yourself “Oh, you’ve got all the time in the world, all the money in the world. You’ve got all the colors in the palette you want, anything you want” – that just kills creativity.” 

Here are other ways constraints have helped them create great music:

  • Only 2 people are in the band
  • Album colors and band aesthetics can only be black, white or red
  • No set lists during live shows
  • The rule of 3
    • Only drums, vocals and guitar or drums, vocals and piano
    • Storytelling, melody and rhythm

Even if you’ve never heard of The White Stripes, they can still teach you
a lot about creativity.  Instead of thinking outside the box, you need to be
able to think inside the box in order to spark creativity and always remember:
Constraints liberate thinking.


One response to “What the White Stripes can teach you about creativity

  1. Well said! That’s advice I need to listen to.

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