Episode 19: Party of One

Cathartic Art and the Power of Personal Projects


In this episode, I talk with designers Melissa Deckert and Nicole Licht of Party of One studio about how they started collaborating, how they used personal projects to their advantage, and how they create sets and props for photo-illustrations.

Party of One is a collaborative studio founded and headed by Melissa Deckert and Nicole Licht. Together, they specialize in bold visual campaigns for brands and products using props, sets, and unique materials. Melissa and Nicole met while working as in-house designers at Etsy. After freelancing separately for a while, the two decided to join forces as Party of One. Since then, they’ve worked with many brands and publications including Mercedes Benz, Otherland, Eater, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.

In this conversation we talk about:

  • how “cathartic piñatas” helped Nicole and Melissa imagine their future studio

  • why you should focus on process rather than outcomes as much as possible

  • how to embrace play as a form of work

  • how Nicole and Melissa approach editorial assignments

  • building a design portfolio that gets you work

  • the Party of One process

  • how Melissa and Nicole get inspired

  • the power of personal projects


Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning I may get a small commission from purchases made through them (at no additional cost to you). This helps to support the show.