Russell grew up in Alexandria, KY and graduated as valedictorian from the Art Academy of Cincinnati in 2003. After graduation, he discovered not only his love of design and illustration but also of art education, a field he has worked in for 13 years. He is currently the Associate Director of Interpretive Programming at the Cincinnati Art Museum where he also hosts their podcast, Art Palace. Russell lives in Cincinnati with his husband, Rafael, and their dogs, Bife (pronounced Beefy) and Shorty.