Artist Spotlight: Richard Starzak

1. How did start out in the industry and what is your role at Aardman?

I joined Aardman as the first full time employee many moons ago. 1983 I think. I had a short stint helping Pete and Dave with sets and props for some short films, thinking it would be a short term enjoyable job. Decades later, I’m Directing the second Shaun the Sheep movie, and I’m involved with all things Shaun.

Richard Starzak, Peter Lord & David Sproxton (December 1983)

2. To date, what has been your biggest professional achievement?

The first Shaun the Sheep Movie. I’m very proud of that, though there have been a lot of career highlights for me.

3. Name three people who inspire you:

Saul Steinberg, David Shrigley, Bobby Robson

4. What best describes your style?

Casual/Scruffy. Occasionally mutton dressed as lamb.

5. What do you like most about working at Aardman?

Being surrounded by a sea of hugely talented people

6. What new technologies do you feel have had the most impact on the way you create?

A bit obvious, but Google image search

7. What’s your desk like – messy or tidy?

I’m afraid I’m generally messy, though I’d love to be zen-like tidy and organised.

8. What are your goals for the year ahead?

Firstly, to make this second Shaun the Sheep Movie the best it can be. I would also love to transpose the Shaun comedy style into a ‘silent’ live action movie. I’d love to paint and sculpt more.

9. How do you maintain a work/life balance?

It’s hard to think of film making as work. It’s over all a hugely enjoyable process. When I do take a holiday, which isn’t very often, I realise how important they are. So I suppose I don’t have a good balance in some ways.

Shaun the Sheep Series 4 (Aardman Animations)

10. What has been your all-time favourite project that you’ve been involved with?

I loved directing the Creature Comforts series, but I think being given the freedom to devise the Shaun the Sheep series was very satisfying.

11. What’s your best advice for artists today?

I have no idea what to advise artists generally. If they came to me with a question, I might be able to help!

12. Who is your favourite Aardman character and why?

Ann the cleaner. She makes me smile.




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