He studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, which later became part of Dundee University, Scotland. Russ moved to England in the 1970s and, save for a brief sojourn in Papua New Guinea, has lived and worked in England ever since. For over forty years Russ has produced work for a wide range of companies and publishers, including Puffin, Pan, Collins, Hodder and Stoughton, TSR, Games Workshop, Hoggshead Publishing, DC Thomson, Le Grimoire and Scriptarium (fr). His work has been reproduced in over twenty countries. He also spent many years as college art lecturer. In addition, he drew the album cover (False Weavers) for Santa Cruz anarcho-folk punk band, Blackbird Raum.