We’d like to introduce Russell Isler as the final contributing artists on the Dinosaur Crate. We subjected him to a battery of questions about his life and work.
1. Who is someone you admire, and why?
This is a difficult one. Most of the people I’d have pointed to in the past have been outed as terrible people so I’m finding myself reluctant to idolize anyone anymore. That being said I’d have to say Brian Kesinger, a story artist formerly of Disney Feature Animation. I’ve had the good luck to work with him on a couple independent projects and have met him on several occasions. Not only is he an amazing artist, he’s one of the genuinely kindest and nicest human beings I’ve ever had the good luck to meet.
2. What do you want to make sure you do before you die?
This might come across as silly, but I’d like to do the “Seven before Seventy.” That is, visit all seven continents of Earth before I reach 70 years of age. Currently I’m at 3 out of 7, and I’ve not yet crossed the equator to the southern hemisphere. Gotta get crackin’!
3. If we went to happy hour, what would you order?
4. What do you do with friends in your spare time?
Once a year we head out into the California desert and camp post-apocalyptic style at Wasteland Weekend. We go off the grid, offline, bonding over crazy food and excess drinking. It’s rad.
5. What are some causes you care about?
I care about LGBTQ and Women’s rights, to be quite honest. Over the course of my life I’ve known more people who identify with one of those categories than not and it drives me crazy to see how acceptance of bigotry and violence against marginalized individuals has surged in numbers. To my shame I’ve not done as much in the past as I could have, being content that “things are getting better.” So I’ve been making contributions to some local and national groups to help when I can.
6. What would be your personal motto?
Illegitimum non carborundum - Don’t let the bastards wear you down.
7. Tell us three pet peeves.
People who scream at minimum wage workers at grocery stores, restaurants, etc.
People who drive 25 miles under the speed limit in the fast lane.
People who whistle at the office. (All day!)
8. What’s your favorite superpower and is it the one you’d want for yourself?
The answer to both is a toss up between flight and teleportation. I love the idea of being able to soar through the air like, yep, Superman and feel the wind rushing past. But I also like the idea of just popping through to anywhere else, instead of wasting time crossing the distance between point A and B when it’s a distance I’ve done a million times before.
9. If you could be anywhere other than here, right this minute, where would you be? (Don’t overthink it!)
Tokyo. I love, LOVE, the food there. I can always go for a bowl of ramen!
10. What’s your favorite Dinosaur?
Sigh. I’m going to be basic and say Tyrannosaurus rex . Ever since I was about 6 years old it’s been my absolute favorite. When I was older, and I saw Jurassic Park in theaters, the point where the T-Rex first sticks its maw into the camera and cuts loose with that first roar… I heard some kid next to me yelling in fear/excitement and after a moment I realized it was me! So yeah, big fan of Rex.
You may find out more about Russell at his website: WWW.RUSSELLISLER.COM and you can own an exclusive piece of his art by picking up a Dinosaur Crate!