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Chris Rallis - Cover art and illustrations

5576 Views 30 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  C.Rallis
Hello everybody!

My name's Chris and I'm a freelance illustrator.
I'm working for Fantasy Flights Games and many independent game developers.
I recently had the opportunity to work on a cover for K.C. Blackmore and that's how I found out about this forum.
So, I thought I'd start this thread in order to showcase and promote my art. I'm working mainly in fantasy, mystery and horror genres.

I'd be more than happy to be of assistance.

Best regards,
Chris Rallis

Please check out my website:
Feel free to drop an email at: [email protected]

Some samples of my art...

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Wow!  That's amazing stuff! Welcome to Writer's Cafe. ;D
I got you bookmarked!
Hi, Chris! Let me be among the first to welcome you and to say your work is really fantastic. I took a look at your site and it's some of the best illustration work I've seen posted here. I've bookmarked your site for clients who might be  looking for custom illustration.

One thing I think a lot of potential clients would be interested in is your price range, if you're willing to divulge it.

Again, just stunning work. Best of luck!

(And I'd just like to say, I'd take that Lovecraft piece and hang it on my wall!)
Welcome to KB! Your gallery is impressive, but 'Marching to Valhalla' became my immediate favorite :)

I agree with Keri - it would help to have some price ranges.
Wow. Awesome art! Welcome!

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I'll ditto all the praise of your work.  Great stuff.  Also, save yourself and potential clients a big headache by posting a general price range somewhere on your site.  Some artists are hesitant to do this but for cover work it helps tremendously, so authors don't waste time if you're out of their budget.  Obviously, you can (and should) make it clear that this range is for a basic cover (which most cover artists that I've worked with consider 1-2 characters and a basic setting).  Beyond that usually costs more.  Anyway, best of luck, and I'll bookmark you page for future work.
Wow! Great work! As it happens... I'm in the market for a steampunk fantasy cover in the next 6 mos. I will definitely look you up! :)
Ditto on the awesome work and request for price ranges. I'm going to be in the market for a cover soon and I would love to bookmark this.

Wow! Thank you guys for your comments. I'm really glad you like my art.

Well, pricing artwork is a difficult thing for artists, and I'm no exclusion. ;D
I can't just put a price list on my website, as every piece of art is special and most of the times prices are tailored to the client's needs.
Price is fixed (flat-fee) according to each agreement, e.g. a client would pay less per cover if there's an agreement for a series of covers than he'd pay for a single cover.

I've seen prices like $50 to $200 for an e-book cover. I must say that I'm nowhere near that mark. I'm a strong believer that you get what you pay. I mean no disrespect to artists that charge that low. Everyone has different needs and there's a wide range of services. Therefore it's logical to be a wide range of prices. Retouching a photo or making a collage is one thing, but creating a painting from scratch is another. 

Another factor is the quality of the final artwork (referring to paintings). I'm not saying that I'm a virtuoso at my thing, as there are artists out there that are truly masters. Nevertheless, I'm trying to develop my art and I consider myself a professional. On the other hand, I've seen people delivering illustrations that defy basic rules of painting, i.e composition, light/shadow, anatomy, perspective, etc. and somehow they manage to sell them for $100. That of course has to do with what a client wants. If you want a cheap image then you buy cheap. If you value your work and want a piece of art that reflects your passion, then you have to pay more.

They say that you can't judge a book by its cover. However, in real life, people go towards attractive covers with good story telling, they make them curious, if only to pick up the book and read the description of the work, and that is the first step in selling a book. It's better to save some bucks and invest in a quality cover, than spend less to buy a cheap piece of art.

Hope all the above makes sense.

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We do understand all of this.  Most of us have gone through the cover creation process several times and with different artists.  But we need a baseline.  You said yourself that $50-$200 was nowhere near your range, which implies that you have a minimum price.  So where do you start?  We get that there are a lot of factors that go into it, and I've yet to work with an artist in which price wasn't negotiable, but I don't want to waste a week of emails only to find out that you're starting fee is $1,000.  That's way too much for me right now.  For others, it's not a problem.  So, we're not trying to peg you to a specific price, but rather we're trying to figure out if you're even in the realm of possibility for us.  Because, hey, you're art rocks!

Hey Stuart,

Thank you for replying.
Like you said, there are a lot of factors that go into it. I reckon that each client/project is different, special, if I may say.
Thus I can't put a generic price. My starting fee is not $1000 though. It's lower than that.

Please feel free to drop me an email if you're interested and I'm sure we'll work out a deal.
C.Rallis said:
Hey Stuart,

Thank you for replying.
Like you said, there are a lot of factors that go into it. I reckon that each client/project is different, special, if I may say.
Thus I can't put a generic price. My starting fee is not $1000 though. It's lower than that.

Please feel free to drop me an email if you're interested and I'm sure we'll work out a deal.
I think you might be shooting yourself in the foot by not sharing a price range. But it's up to you, of course. Best of luck!

If Chris freelances for game companies, then it is likely that he wouldn't want to name a specific price range here in the forum. If he did, and the price range was lower than what other businesses pay him, then they would have some leverage to negotiate with him to a rate that matches what he put out in a public forum. I know I would do that if I were an art director and stumbled upon a post where he listed his rates.

In addition, there are so many factors that go in to a piece of art, that the range could be so large it would be relatively useless. I suppose people are looking for the bottom number. I can't (and won't) speak for Chris, but my own experience would lead me to believe that an artist of similar quality would charge upwards of $600 as a minimum fee for a cover painting.

Note: I'm not saying that these are Chris' rates. I don't know him or speak for him in any way. He may be much cheaper. However, I do have some experience releasing products with artists of similar caliber. The best thing to do is query Chris with your needs and keep my estimation in mind. If he is in that ballpark, you'll be prepared for the conversation, and if his rates are cheaper, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

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Lovely art, Chris.

As for fee, I've commissioned similar quality art for 200-400.  It sounds like Chris is above that range, which is fine. I think for a lot of artists who are used to working with larger publishers and game companies, their fees often reflect what they make with those places, which generally have larger budgets than tiny presses, which is basically what we indies are. 

However, I've gotten amazing pieces of art for less and I sort of resent on behalf of the awesome artists I've worked with the implication that just because something is cheaper than Chris might charge it is less quality. Deciding what to charge is a personal decision that often has nothing to do with the end quality output.
Wow - I went to your website and your work is amazing.

A price range would be nice.  We're all on a budget here and trying to buy the best covers we can afford.  No sense in spending time drooling over your artwork if you are totally out of the price range.  I'm sure that range is different for everyone here.
Blimey! I never thought that I'd cause such a disturbance by choosing to be discreet. :)

@dotx OK, first things first, I'm not shooting my leg here. I'm working as a freelance illustrator for about 20 years and dealing with all shorts of clients taught me that each one is unique and I have to respect that. Thank you for your critique though.

@Keith Strohm You cracked it mate!

@Doomed Muse Thank you for the compliment! Mind you, art can be judged by artists. I'm not talking about personal taste here. I can't tell if a book is a masterpiece, cos I'm not a writer nor have I studied literature. However, I can tell if an illustration is good or bad.

@leedobbins I'm glad you like my art. You're right when you said "I'm sure that range is different for everyone here."

@Bleekness Hi Keith! I'll be available for you mate, no matter what. Keep it up! :)

Thank you all for your interest and especially for your positive comments. Unfortunately I have to stick to my initial stand.
It would be useless to say that my range is from $A to $X. I can understand the stress of being an independent developer, writer, etc. having to complete a project on a limited budget. That's why I charge lower than I'd charge a company. I'd be completely insensitive if I didn't do that. So, please, if you're interested in a quote for a specific project, just drop an email with a brief description and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. It's that easy!
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My point was that good illustrations can be had for less than 400, sometimes for less than 100. Not that you aren't qualified to judge.

I think you should charge whatever you want for your work.
Sorry if I started something here.  I really just was looking for a starting number.  I do understand your predicament better now.  Just know that for a lot of us, self-publishing is very time consuming beyond the writing (which is fine, it's part of the deal), and like any business you want to maximize your time.  I've had the unfortunate experience of dealing with an artist over several e-mails, getting excited about the work, only to be quoted something so high that I never would've engaged in the conversation if I had known that up front.  And I wasn't asking for anything unusual.  Meanwhile, I'd lost a week or so, still had no artist, and my release date was fast approaching.  I'm trying to learn from previous mistakes. Your last post suggests that you'd be able to give a quote off of an initial description.  If that's the case (one email essentially), then I think that's entirely reasonable.  Again, sorry if I got things off on the wrong foot for you here.  The KB people are great, even if we get a bit crazy from time to time. :) I suspect you'll get quite a bit of work from this thread over the coming year.  I've certainly gone ahead and bookmarked your site.  Best of luck!
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