Jeremiah Deasey is the man behind Portland, Oregon’s Upheaval Design and I’m pretty sure he’s punched someone in the face before.
I don’t want to give the impression that he comes across super aggressive or like some macho man douche bag, because he definitely does not. I’ve never even met him. The pictures I’ve seen of him suggest he is fairly small in stature. The only time I talked to him was during our 20 minute phone interview, but I came to the conclusion early on in the conversation that at least one time in his past somebody stood in between him and greatness for just long enough to get punched in the face.
Sometimes bulldozing your way into greatness is required. Knowing one successful person is knowing a little bit about all successful people.
If the quality of Upheaval’s portfolio isn’t enough to prove his level of talent and determination his client history will. He’s provided work for companies such as 7-Up, MTV, Diesel Jeans, and Adidas, but is best known throughout the Northwest for his work with artists such as Brotha Lynch Hung, Spice 1, Swizz Beatz, E-40, Tech N9ne, Jedi Mind Tricks, and Sir Mix-a-lot.
“In the past I always thought I wanted to gear my client base towards something bigger, or more corporate, but now I’m realizing that’s not really where I want to go.” He continued, “When you’re working with Coca-Cola, Nestle or Nike you have no control. Its mindless. I like working with people who want me involved with their creative process.”
Jeremiah worked with SimpleSeason (http://simpleseason.com) for a couple of years on projects for clients like At&t, JellyBarn (http://proof.upheavaltm.com/JellyBarn) and even the official site for The Doors.
“Che of PixelPimps (http://pixelpimps.net) brought me under his wing, and together we did a lot of projects. We were grinding,” he said. “I was working 12-13 hour days getting The Doors project done.”
Although he admitted that working with a team on the Doors project was very rewarding because of how hard it pushed him as a Flash developer, he is much more comfortable calling the shots.
“I’m a badger, man. I like to work within my own means. I keep really high standards of other people and sometimes that can create a problem pretty quickly.”
Upheaval keeps a team of resources around but Adam Michael is the only other full time artist.
“He’s done a really good job of tolerating me for the past five years. I’m constantly challenging his methodology and he’s kept up with me.”
Jeremiah’s attention to detail and the signature swagger in his art has managed to keep him ahead of the competition. His work ethic has built him a loyal fan base.
“I pick up the phone everyday. Its something that everybody underrates and I think that its a reason I’m able to retain so many customers.” He continued, “If you want a website that you are going to spend a lot of money on, its an asset. You want to be sure you have the right person managing that asset.”
To help protect the interests of all his customers, he also invests in data storage and keeps every project on archive.
With so many new graphic and web designers available for cheap work, these qualities have been essential for the company’s survival since he started it 10 years ago.
“It’s a classic thing right now. Someone will get a $600 camera for their birthday and then want to charge $50 for a photo shoot. And they’ll never be able to work in that market because they are ruining it.” He explained, “If you want to work for experience do it for free. Don’t charge $50 because you are gouging the market.”
He is currently working on a full scale marketing campaign for emcee/producer AD. The campaign will start rolling out in the next couple of months, check out www.proofavenue.com to watch the progress.
To see more work samples from Jeremiah and Upheaval Design visit www.upheavaldesign.com.