Chris Achilleos is an artist and illustrator. He has created some of the best-loved fantasy and glamour art of the past fourty years and his work has been collected in four art books: "
Sirens" and "
Beauty and the Beast".
Chris is acknowledged for his unique interpretation of fabulous Amazons, Dragons and fantasy images inspired by ancient civilisations and mythology. His paintings have adorned many book covers, including novels by the fantasy authors
Robert E Howard,
Edgar Rice Burroughs, and
Michael Moorcock; he is also the man behind the original
Startrek book covers and the well known
Target book cover illustrations for the Dr Who novelisations.
Chris worked on "
Heavy Metal" the adult animation cult movie, on
Willowdirected by George Lucas and the historical dramas of
The Last Legion.
Christos Achilleos grew up in a rural village near the town of Famagusta in Cyprus; a hot place — perfect for a boy fond of the outdoors. After Chris’s father passed away in the late fifties, his mother moved to London with her four children and Chris began drawing shortly after. When he left school in 1966, he knew he wanted to become a professional artist and attended Hornsey College of Art. There he studied technical illustration and learned about various drawing disciplines, airbrushing and perspective. During his last year at college, Chris became proficient with the airbrush — a skill that proved very useful in his later career as a professional illustrator.
"I am constantly on the move, creatively, I have learned to use all kinds of mediums and materials in my work, from airbrushing with inks and acrylics, to watercolour and gouache, to oils. I have even painted with fabric dyes."
"My pictures vary so much in subject matter, just as much as my techniques and materials do; from slick graphic works to figurative dragons and landscapes. Painting technique and skill is important - with some images demanding very tight detail on a smooth base, some looser, others heavier with a more textured base - but technique alone is not enough to create good work. Most importantly the picture has to be pleasing to the eye, and if it also makes one think, then that's even better. To me, being a painter is all about learning; each time I finish a picture, I like to think that I’ve learned a little more. There’s so much to learn, I could live ten lifetimes and still not learn it all!” .
Chris in his studio in 1997 with "Eve and the Serpent"
Chris’s approach to his work is summed up by a motto which is written on his drawing board: “Always striving for that unobtainable perfection, that’s what it’s all about.”
Chris Achilleos lives and works in London.
Chris painting "Tomoe Gozen" in 2013.