I am an artist/graphic designer that is inspired by Northern European history. I look to create edgy work that pays homage to ancient styles and traditions.
I get this question often from inquisitive customers. “Do you, like, throw the hammers like at those Scottish games?” “Is the ‘Club’ in the name mean like a club you hit people with, or a club that you would join?” No I have never competed in highland games (although that would be cool), and the “Club” in the name was meant as a club you would join. Thinking back, maybe I should have branded my artwork under “Celtic Hammer Clan” rather than “Club”, but oh well...
So, to answer the overarching question of “What is Celtic Hammer Club?” Celtic Hammer Club is how I branded my collection of Viking, Norse, Celtic, and Irish artwork.
When I was in high school, in an attempt to come to understand who I was and where I came from, I became very interested in my ancestry. I started to learn about where my family lived before coming to the United States (mostly Ireland and Germany). I started to learn more about Irish and European history and culture. I became fascinated with the heroic stories of Irish kings (who I’m supposedly descended from), Vikings, Celts, and all of the colorful characters from long ago.
When I get interested in something, I become fascinated. I become fixated; maybe a little obsessed. I draw as a sort of release. It’s a way to sit and reflect on what I’m currently obsessed with by being creative and doing something constructive. It’s almost like I’m interacting with the subject matter I’m in to. It’s been like this since I was very little. Always drawing pictures of what I was in to at the time. Dinosaurs, ninjas, super heroes, sports figures, fighter jets, cars, and, eventually, Celts and Vikings.
So I started to try the mimic the intricate knot work I saw that adorned Celtic Crosses and other things associated with Celtic and Nordic culture. It was tricky (still is), but I kept at it and created more and more artwork that started to fill notebooks.
Eventually, it dawned on me that having all of my work tucked away in notebooks where only I could see it was not necessarily the way to go. Social media had been developed since I had started my collection of Celtic-style works, and I realized that I could post my drawings online and maybe start a blog and reach others who might appreciate the work I’ve done. So I went for it. I created social media pages dedicated specifically to my artwork. I created a blog, and came up with the name “Celtic Hammer Club” as a title for my collection of work. During this time, I also discovered websites that will allow you to upload your art to your “artist shop” and sell it printed on apparel and accessories.
I set up my website (www.celtichammerclub.com) and started making an online presence with my artwork on social media in 2013. Since then, I have been absolutely blown away at all the opportunities that have been presented to me as far as collaborating on projects, and doing commission work for various people and groups. Taking the initiative to start making my work public as opposed to keeping it in a closet at home has led me to meet so many new people and other talented artists. It’s very cliché, but it really has opened a new world to me; more so than I ever imagined when I first started my blog in 2013.
So I plan to keep drawing, keep creating, keep posting, and keep interacting with followers and supporters. I hope to continue to meet new people and collaborate on projects that helps to promote and preserve this style of artwork that I’ve come to love. My latest endeavor is to delve into the world of vending. Rather than just sell online, I have invested in some inventory and started selling at shows and festivals. I hope to continue to grow this part of Celtic Hammer Club.
Maybe I’ll see you at an event or festival some time!
Sláinte, Skål, Cheers,
Doug Cavanaugh - Celtic Hammer Club