Russell graduated with a BFA in Illustration from Parsons School of Design in 1985, the same year as his wife and business partner, Raquel Jaramillo. For more than 30 years, Russell was an art director, book designer, illustrator, and photo shoot director for adult trade and children’s books. From 2001-2018, he was an Executive Art Director at Simon & Schuster Children’s Books, where he was responsible for packaging chapter books, middle grade, and young adult novels across multiple imprints. He art directed and designed books for many fantastic, bestselling authors, including Holly Black, Judy Blume, Cassandra Clare, Nancy Farmer, E. R. Frank, James Howe, Cynthia Kadohata, A. LaFaye, Lisa Maxwell, Nora Raleigh Baskin, Amy Reed, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Brian Selznick, Scott Westerfeld, Virginia Euwer Wolff, and Suzanne Young, among others. Russell’s seventeen years with S&S were every bit as fun as they were rewarding.
A life-long New Yorker, Russell is beyond excited to begin this new venture with Raquel out of their new Brooklyn office. Developing story ideas for books and films is quite literally a dream come true, one that he and Raquel have shared for many years. Russell plans to focus on stories featuring relatable, likable “underdogs” that are finding their way in the world while learning to advocate for themselves. It’s the humor in our day-to-day triumphs and tribulations that appeals to him the most. “For me, there’s no better way to tell a story than with a little bit (or a lot) of funny. Anyone who knows me knows how much I value laughter; it’s the language that unites everybody.”