Really happy to be able to show you my Book Jacket design for Moonstone by Icelandic Author Sjón

What an honor to work from such a beautiful novel from one of my favorite authors! Huge thanks to Natalie Chen for the wonderful art direction.

Moonstone will be published in June this year by Sceptre, an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton.

Fighting Violence Against Women In India With Heavy Metal

To outsiders, the loud, aggressive world of heavy metal might seems like an unlikely place to find progressive politics. But any metalhead worth their leather can attest that the genre has often commented on society’s ills. Black Sabbath railed against the Vietnam War, Nuclear Assault offered apocalyptic visions of Reagan’s ‘80s, Sepultura howled scathing condemnations of the treatment of indigenous tribes in their native Brazil, Napalm Death addressed government failures and corruption, and more recently, Cloud Rat roared about sexism and urban blight atop a grindcore soundtrack. Thrash metal, in particular, has a long-running habit of tackling sociopolitical subjects with its rough barked vocals, wailing solos, and frenetic shredding.

In both a geographical and cultural sense, Mumbai seems about as far as one can get from the California Bay Area where the thrash-metal movement reached its apex. But the Indian band Sceptre offers proof of just how widely this style has spread. Inspired by their American forebears in Exodus and DRI and the music of classic German thrash bands like Kreator and Sodom, Sceptre recently celebrated its 15 anniversary, and is distinguished as one of India’s longest-running metal bands. Their latest recording taps into their genre’s liberal-leaning ideological tradition in a way that’s refreshing and urgent in modern India.

Age of Calamity is a concept album that deals with the plight of women in Indian society, and all proceeds from its sales will go directly to benefit a girls’ orphanage in Mumbai. Its haunting cover artwork was created by Indian artist Saloni Sinha, and depicts a weeping woman cradling her head in her hands, surrounded on all sides by crumbling walls and grasping shadows. It’s a powerful image, and in keeping with the theme, the band chose to work with a female artist.

Read more. [Image: Sceptre]


Royal Regalia of Bavaria

Bavaria became a kingdom in 1806 when Napoleon I of France decided to do an overhaul of Europe. He took the German Duchy of Bavaria and upgraded it to its own country. The new King of Bavarie Maximillian I, celebrated the creation of his new kingdom by commissioning a set of Royal regalia for the new monarchy. 

This regalia included:

  • The Crown of Bavaria – the King’s crown, which was set with rubies, diamonds, emeralds, sapphires and pearls
  • The Crown of the Queens of Bavaria, which was made for the then queen, Karoline of Baden and which contains huge pearls and large diamonds;
  • The 96cms long State Sword;
  • The Royal Orb – made of gold
  • The 89cms long Royal Scepter set with brilliants, emeralds and sapphires and the top is surmounted by a small round crown.

- Royal Exhibitions & Wanderungs