Russell has been around for a while. With a specialization in illustration, he graduated in 2003, and completed his MA in 2005. Russell is an unassuming guy with a great sense of humour. In fact, it seems that humour is the main ingredient of his success.
“After trying to find my ‘style’ I’ve realized that it my way of thinking that makes me stand out, not a specific process. The formula is taking something that you know and putting it into something that you don’t. It is the play on the very thin line between the familiar and unknown.”, he states.
He does many personal projects, which lead into commissions for commercial work. He is also big on collaboration—it enables him to do things that he normally wouldn’t do. One of those examples is a project he did for The Guardian, which he completed alongside the photographer Ali Mobasser.
He also collaborated with the music group Franz Ferdinand, creating their (super-creative and quirky) music videos.
He advises us to find a person that we think will like our work, and keep sending it to them until they accept (with slight alternations!). Russell himself has sent out a large number of applications, and still does today. It has led him to some unpaid work, but has also opened doors for him in different ways.
The fact, that he doesn’t have a ‘niche’ means that he can accept work for practically ‘anything’ and learn along the way, but also that sometimes he has no relevant work to show, making it difficult for the client to envision the outcome. However, this is the way of working that suits him, and makes advantage of his ‘way of thinking’ niche.
Well done, Russell!