Chris Achilleos (born Christos Achilléos, 1947) is a painter and illustrator who specialises in fantasy artwork and glamour illustration. Born in Famagusta, Cyprus, his family emigrated to the United Kingdom in 1959, where he currently resides. He attended the Hornsey College of Art.
His work has appeared in Heavy Metal and Radio Times magazines, on book covers (including series based on the Conan the Barbarian character, TV's Doctor Who and the Fighting Fantasy gamebook series), and in collections of his own work. He has also participated in various film projects including Heavy Metal and Willow as a conceptual artist, (his iconic poster image commissioned in 1980 featuring Taarna and her birdlike steed are still featured on the DVD release) and created a proposed poster for Blade Runner.
Achilleos created the controversial cover for Whitesnake's 1979 album, Lovehunter, which showed a naked woman straddling a giant serpent. In an interview with MelodicRock, Gary Hughes stated that Achilleos thereafter "had a policy of not working with bands". The original artwork, along with several other pieces, were stolen from him in the 1980s and sold to a private collector. However, he designed an album cover and artwork in 2003 with Gary Hughes' rock opera Once and Future King Part I. His influence was also felt in the Kate Bush video for "Babooshka", in which the character's costume resembles the cover portrait he did of the heroine of the 1978 novel Raven - Swordsmistress of Chaos.
Since 1990 he has mostly worked in designing fantasy trading cards as well as selling prints and original works of art.
Achilleos has published several book collections, including:
- Achilleos, Chris (October 2004). Amazona. London: Titan Books. p. 2. ISBN 1-84023-893-3.
- Biography on Chris Achilleos' website Archived July 20, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
- "HEAVY METAL 1980". Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- "Original Artwork of Unreleased Blade Runner Poster Project by Chris Achilleos". Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- "Interviews: Gary Hughes - Once And Future King". Melodicrock.com. Retrieved 2010-10-31.
He had a bad experience after his Lovehunter cover and for years he has had a policy of not working with bands anymore.
- "Entrevista". Chris Achilleos. Retrieved 2014-12-26.
- MelodicRock.com Interviews: Gary Hughes - Once And Future King
- "The Connection Between Kate Bush And Sexy Sword And Sorcery Novels". The Reprobate. August 3, 2016. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- "Polska Strona Kate Bush". www.katebush.pl. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
Artistic concepts and choreography throughout by Kate Bush Babooshka costume based on an illustration by Chris Achilleos and released by Pamela Keats.