Melissa Deckert and Nicole Licht – “Living in New York tends to emphasize and exaggerate every aspect of our studio”
For the 45th instalment of our 50 States series, Creative Chair is Brooklyn, New York talking with creative studio Party of One.
Party of One is, in fact, a party of two comprised of Melissa Deckert and Nicole Licht. Melissa and Nicole have provided creative solutions to a myriad of well-known brands. Their non-typical multidisciplinary approach has allowed them to stand out in a city where getting noticed is infamously difficult.
You can see a lot more work from Party of One Studio on their website.
Tell us a little bit more about yourself and what you do
Party of One is a collaborative, ongoing art project and creative design studio. Commercially, we specialize in photo-based visual campaigns with an emphasis on unique and often handcrafted prop design, styling, and sets. In art explorations and installations, we work to elevate the use of humble materials to create vehicles of psychological expression with high attention to detail coupled with absurd, fantastical, and exaggerated subjects.
Our clients include The New York Times, Michael Kors, American Express, and Penguin Random House, to name a few. Nicole and Melissa’s work has also been featured in a number of exhibitions across the US including Art As Witness: Political Graphics 2016 – 18 at SVA Chelsea Gallery, Project Passion at Mankato State University, as well as in online publications such as Plastik Magazine, Working Not Working Magazine, and AIGA Eye on Design.
Independently, we have lectured at Mankato State University, Rhode Island School of Design, and been guest critics at Cooper Union, Pratt Institute, and The New School.
How has your state influenced the work that you do?
Living in New York tends to emphasize and exaggerate every aspect of our studio—from the level of inspiration we gain being in this city, to the prices we are able to charge (and high cost of living), as well as the incredible talent we are surrounded by.
The city’s intensity keeps our studio quickly adjusting and innovating to stay nimble, competitive and excited by the work we produce. Additionally, we are lucky to be surrounded by so many designers, illustrators, artists and creative people within a relatively compact city. That density allows for serendipity to happen easily, and for creative collaborations and new projects to come to fruition with people that are sometimes only a couple blocks away from our own studio.
The 154th 366 Award goes to Party of One Studio for their outstanding creative work.
Of your own work, what is your favourite project and why?
I tend to always love the last project we’ve made, then quickly get sad from it being over, then forget it even happened because I’m excited to find what is next, so this is a tough question. I guess I would say one of the first projects I worked on with Nicole—an Etsy Holiday Campaign in 2013 when we were both in-house—might be it for sentimental reasons. That campaign was a nascent exploration into creating work that was based in custom 3-dimensional materials and was successfully translated into a variety of different applications. Looking back at that project reminds me that I still love doing this kind of work, and how we’ve evolved the process in so many ways since then. Plus it’s so far in the past that I don’t have any memories of whether it was a difficult or frustrating process in the beginning, I can just enjoy it.
More often than not, I’d agree that whatever the last project we’ve finished is usually what I’m most excited about. Our work is pretty varied (between designing, building, lighting, and finalizing) and as we are always looking to learn something new or tackle a new challenge in each project, I get a true thrill from solving whatever puzzle we’ve set out for ourselves in our direction. Also, I might just be crying over Melissa’s lovely recounting of our 2013 Etsy Holiday Campaign. MEMORIES.
And finally, if you died and got reincarnated as a song, what would that song be?
Sheryl Crow “If It Makes You Happy”
A gentle reminder to keep it positive for lifetimes to come, and channel the happiness I feel when I scream-sing this song during karaoke.
“My Way” – Sid Vicious
I have an endless penchant for a low brow take on a classic and even though I look like a perfectly respectable lady now, my punk childhood has probably informed my creative philosophy and conceptual taste more than any other influence or training.