Thank you for visiting. I hope you find something of value here each time you show up.
I'm Matthew Lyles Hornbostel, artist and creator of the site and its content, and it is part of what I call the 'Triumphant Artists Web Network'.
Here I'm developing a lot of awesome free stuff for you, for
Over time, I've been overhauling and redesigning this site with some revised content, new layout and code, and faster loading times.
I've got a lot of cool creative art, videos and games I'm working on right now, and you can see plenty of examples in the video below if you decide to click play.
I'm truly sorry for missing goals I'd set for myself and for taking
long time to get things moving. I know I disappointed all of you,
and I apologize for that. I'm afraid that this will likely continue
to happen, especially given the number of projects I am attempting
to complete, and time funneled away from these projects towards a
lot of freelance gigs that are needed to finance them and keep them
moving. I use freelancing to cover the cost of my own creative work
out of pocket but it's inevitably a slow process.
What's planned for the next few months?
I'm a creative independent multimedia artist, and with the ongoing assistance of friends and family I'll be releasing a wide range of exciting creative projects and free stuff available nowhere else. I'm in good shape at the moment and should be able to expand my efforts and release a ton of things for free, as described on my recent HornbostelProductions.com blog posts.
There are many diverse projects I've finished or am trying to complete. You may or may not care if any of them get finished. I don't know, depends on your own personal tastes. If you like silly comedy videos, action sequences with a lot of visually impressive VFX and 3d animation work, handmade art, miniature & practical effects and miniature art, board games, strategy, arcade and puzzle games, first-person exploration of imaginative game worlds, etc... then probably this site and the other ones connected to it, will appeal to you.
I've shown a lot of my work to a lot of people locally and the phrase I keep hearing is "When will it be done?"
That applies to many things I'm doing that people are impatient about and want to see. A lot of people want all of my work to be made available online. You can get a tiny sense of why by looking at the preview material I've already put in the [VIDEOS] and [GAMES] sections, but that only scratches the surface.
Worse, I've often missed release targets I said I'd aim for, largely because I want to get things right and often that means they take longer than planned, and partly because I cannot predict when people will order artworks from me. When they do, that's a priority and suddenly other tasks slow down! That is exactly what has happened in the past two weeks. And other times, feature creep or reworking something that wasn't good enough the first time, is a factor. With Spiral Skies, a desire to make a solid game for everyone has meant reassembling the entire project in realtime 3D with a new game engine, which unfortunately also meant massive delays.
ACCELERATING PRODUCTION WITH ASTOUNDING EBAY SALES!
Check out my eBay shops for the rest of 2018, because although the prices have begun to increase slightly, generally they're still amazing value and there are superb new product lines on the way, including games on DVD, new stock video content, and other products I'm launching shortly.
What makes this even better? The unique handcrafted items ship for free within the United States.Historically, the items listed have often been 'loss leader' items, meaning that not only do I not make a profit or salary on many of them, but often they actually were priced well below even the baseline cost of materials and shipping. Those were the auctions, for instance, that started at around a dollar! I'm totally fine with this, and continue to do it occasionally even now, because I love the work and I am hoping that these shops will become viable in the long term. I literally planned to lose $400+ on these shops out of the gate in an effort to establish an even stronger reputation as a vendor. And now you, me, and everyone involved has benefited enormously from that.
This vibrant image below, for example, was listed on Etsy for some time before moving to eBay, a gouache painting of a winter sunset, with a village, forest, mountains and lake. It's a landscape on canvas, it sold for under $4 in the end.
On eBay I sell predesigned works like that but I'll also take commissions. That means for a minimal cost, even sometimes under a dollar in the case of auctions, I'll do my best to make you a good acrylic or gouache painting, colored pencil drawing, or oil pastel artwork of whatever subject you request.
And finally, there's my own shop, on HornbostelProductions.com, with even more varied options for commissioned art, and my blog on that same website, which features the latest news and updates on my creative projects and the state of my web network.
IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN ANY
UPDATES IN MONTHS:
Here are some tips for viewing this website. Many browsers still cache the pages here, despite my attempts to stop caching with code, so if you're a regular visitor and have seen nothing change on my websites in months, you may need to refresh the pages.
But keep in mind that if from here on out, if I can continue scraping together a few hundred dollars each month from freelance gigs unrelated to this web network, which I think is feasible given recent patterns, at least in the immediate future, I should be able to release a lot over the next year.
At this point the passive revenue [advertisers] are covering 1% of my annual budget. 41% is covered by art or other item sales, and the remaining 58% by sub-minimum wage freelance gigs - mainly transcription. During January 2018 you probably noticed that my websites saw minimal change. Well, I've been doing a TON of transcription and am earning enough cash to upgrade some of my core software and hardware, and cover all February costs, AND fund a substantial ad campaign beginning in the last week of February. By substantial, we're talking $75+.
My intention is, for the first 2.5 weeks of February, to make a few more artworks, list them online... and work hard on some games and other fresh content.
Near the end of February, I intend to run the ad campaign and post a bunch of the new material on my web network, hopefully causing a frenzy of public excitement and social-media discussion around that. If that goes as planned, I am hopeful that the scope of my audience here will increase, and my need for the transcription work will drop substantially.
I would love it if my budget involved 10% covered by ads, 90% by art and product sales online. Then I could do truly creative work here full-time and not be dependent on transcription gigs that are likely to dry up this year anyway as voice recognition software gets rapidly smarter and closer in accuracy to skilled human listeners.I've got a window here - 2017-2018 - in which I have the resources to build some new product lines and pivot from transcription to this network as a primary income source, but that gambit will only work if I'm pulling in sales and more critically, also RATINGS/REVIEWS, from you all, so that when the window closes I'll be in a position to keep all this going at a rapid clip even after the transcription gigs are gone.
ACHIEVING MORE, DESPITE OBSTACLES
I've struggled to get my projects done over the years - maybe I have too many ideas and need to focus on just one at a time! - but things are beginning to take off noticeably as of 2018 due to those freelance gigs I mentioned. My eBay shop continues to gain momentum, with now well over 230 ratings, all positive, on amazingly awesome and inexpensive creative products like my handmade art [made to order based on the subject of your choice, sometimes for as low as $0.99 opening bid or even less]. A lot of my eBay success is allowing me to expand both to new eBay product lines, and even a new WordPress blog/shop , but the prices are (for now) still often ridiculously low and likely to remain excellent value in price for some time. If you like the stuff in my still art pages, you may want to bid on my eBay art auction listings and have a personalized, special handmade artwork made specifically for you. Shipping is free, items usually take 3-5 days for me to make and about a week to ship, and while prices remain low for now, they are likely to continue to increase gradually in the long run. Keep in mind that my average profit margin on these art sales has been climbing from -22%, an actual loss on the typical item, to +14%, over the past year, a good trend. There's absolutely room for that to increase further, especially given limited supply (my time allocated to this each week is finite) and climbing demand that is going up about 3% each month and has been doing so fairly consistently for the past few years since this site opened to little fanfare in 2009.
For years after graduating (with Phi Kappa Phi honors from the University of Houston in 2010), I couldn't land steady paid work of any kind. I was an Eagle Scout (with Houston's legendary Troop 4), I had a degree in Communications, specifically Media Production, and a minor in Studio Art. I'm bright, I work hard, I'm highly creative, I've done creative and inventive work for decades with or without pay (but my work is way better if I have a budget!) but I'm also willing to acknowledge my flaws and maintain plenty of humility given my pathetic career history, a number of medical flaws including a somewhat weak immune system and some turbulent emotions, and a number of other challenges and struggles I am trying to avoid discussing here because my family would rather my flaws not be shouted loudly from the rooftops.
I am never satisfied with myself or my work. I am intensely focused on doing better than I've done in the past, partly due to a sense that a lot hangs in the balance, and this can result in strain on my relationships as well given my insistence on pushing myself near to the breaking point.
Bottom line is I'm weird.
You can learn more about my values and the ideals of my web network on this page if curious.
MY PROJECTS AND YOURS, REALIZED WAY FASTER AND BETTER THROUGH OUR COLLABORATION: -Hire me at $5/hr to edit video, do color grading, to work as an editor, compositor, visual effects artist, DVD / Blu Ray author - or you could hire me to make handcrafted art on paper or canvas, or to make miniatures, or 3d game assets, level design, web graphics/design, maybe Photoshop editing and some other types of graphics work. You'll find, as have my eBay customers, that my work is a great bargain even at this price, as I am pretty good at what I do and the cost involved is still absurdly cheap, way below minimum wage. Buying my art in 2018 while it is still cheap and I'm still largely unknown,while there's less competition for more hours of my freelance time, would clearly be a superb value for money, all factors considered, even if what I create isn't perfect. There are modern art works that sell for millions and aren't that interesting. There are lots of old works by masters who are long dead. And then there's my work, a miniscule fraction of the price of those old and new items, that's detailed, shows some degree of actual craftmanship and skill, and is genuinely affordable for you to purchase. A search of the top five most popular made-to-order commission art services on Google, reveals that for a 12"x16" acrylic painting portrait of a person or pet, the available price range is $130 at lowest and $330 at the highest. Some of them will claim $50, then charge extra fees for the acrylic paint medium, fees added for every subject added, and shipping fees on top of all of that! You could order a custom personalized made-to-order item from my shop on eBay and have it made based on a subject of your own choice at that size, for as low as $0.99 as a starting opening bid on auctions, or as little as $9.99 or so for Buy It Now. It's not a lot of cash, but if that seems risky somehow, even with the 30-day full-refund policy, you can try buying an already-designed work which is more predictable. (I'm launching a new batch of pastel art there soon!) The only downside, the way I sometimes fall short as a vendor, is that sometimes I miss the 3-day shipping target by a bit, it may take more like a week in some cases where I'm getting a ton of 'Buy it now' orders all at once and some of them are really big artworks that I know I need to dedicate many hours to to maintain a good quality level. You can look at my ratings on eBay to see how many people have appreciated my work.
You'll also be able to order
prints on my own shop soon too - not just inexpensive photo
prints, but printed T shirts, and posters, made by me without a
middleman getting in the way. (Zazzle and CafePress are good but
they'll charge you a bit more than needed.) And those
can be your own design too if you want that.
You can order art from me on eBay, which is where I've accumulated most of my sales so far, from people like you - here you can order custom, handmade, made-to-order art based on whatever subject you choose.
I've been described by many customers there - check my eBay account ratings, 230+ of them so far, fully 100% of them positive at this time, my ratings are solidly positive both as a buyer and seller:
-"Fast but generous with his talent, great sense of light and color, communicative"
-"A lot of detail went into this beautiful painting of my past yorkie Thank you!"
-"Better than described, fast shipping...just love it"
-"Incredible! So special! Great work! Thank you!"
-"Great working with and would highly recommend to everyone. Thanks again. ****"
-"Very fast and great piece! Thank you very much!"
-"Excellent will shop again real artist( legendary )"
-"Artist did great work. Very pleased with painting"
-"I can not thank you enough for this. It is beautiful and I love it. Thank you!"
The same outstanding customer service you see there extends to my other venues, even if they are not yet as popular or well-known as my eBay shop. Yes, it's true that I may not always be the fastest (I can get backlogged and I try to do a great job on every item I sell, which at times means delays of as much as a week or two) but I DO deliver the work as promised, often with far better quality than the recipient expects, especially given the bargain pricing.
If you feel like these items 'made to order' are still risky, which I can understand since you don't see it or know how it will actually turn out until after you've paid, there are also items I've made in advance, my own designs, and those are also available.
You can order already-existing handmade artworks instead. They're faster to deliver given that they are already made, you know exactly what the item looks like and what you'll get before ordering, and the prices are actually slightly lower per size of the artwork!
There was also a Zazzle shop, where I sold prints of a few of the items sold via Etsy. Now the print sales are being shifted to my own [Hornbostel Productions] shop because that way I will be able to deliver the same quality cheaper than Zazzle can!
That shop is my own shop - an SSL secured venue using WordPress and WooCommerce, which offers much of the best of all of the above options, but even cheaper and with no 'middleman' raising the effective price with tacked on fees.
Even setting aside the issue of Etsy or Ebay or Zazzle fees, which can increase pricing in effect by 3-10%, there are additional deeper discounts that'll be available only on my own shop as I am trying to establish a track record beyond the third-party places like eBay and am prepared to take some significant losses in order to gain the first few positive customer reviews on my own store. There are great coupon codes available ($5 off codes) and a loyalty rewards program with 12.5% cash back in effect, plus a further-reduced membership option on top of all of that - $5/year VIP pricing - all of this going WAY beyond the prices being already lower than on my eBay venue!
TAKE A LOOK AT THAT IF YOU WANT THE BEST PRICES POSSIBLE ON UNIQUE, BEAUTIFUL HANDMADE ART!
If you have any questions about any of the services I offer or have a specific creative job you want accomplished related to video/vfx production, handmade art, 3D assets for a game, etc, there's also the option to email me. I have contact info on the 'Forums'.
IF YOU WANT TO
HELP GET MY WORK ACCELERATED AND RELEASED FASTER:
-Spread the word about my websites, or my specific projects/services, and share a link by email or using a post on forums/blogs you frequent, somewhere relevant where you think people might like something I did. Please don't get spammy with this though.
-Follow me or share my posts on social media. You can also join my mailing list through the Social Media page [or] via the link on the forums.
-Bookmark this page and visit every now and then to see what significant new things have been released, maybe once a month or so. Right now I have about a thousand people who are doing this, which is nothing short of astounding to me. Thank you all so much! Part of the key here is that if the number of regular visitors climbs up tenfold from where it is now already, this web network will be entirely self-sustaining. As in, between the sales and other revenue sources, I'll be able to maintain my current monthly budget without needing freelancing! This would mean all my time would go towards the creative work - no more transcription or Mturking or mind-numbing nonsense of that sort diverting my effort away from the actual cool things. Bonus, if you saw the supporters page, you know you can actually make a bit of cash directing people to my site with the HornbostelProductions.com affiliate program! If they buy anything there, you could make a small percentage of that sale amount as a thank you for delivering the sale. And it's a safe SSL-secured shop, from a vendor who offers outstanding work at low prices with a successful track record on eBay. So if you want to join that program, that's right here.
- Do something else that helps me develop my projects a bit that I'd like to release online but which costs you nothing or very little and which might even benefit you. There are a few extra examples of ideas in that category here.
- Buy my new project 'Miniature Multiverse' after its late 2018 launch on Itch.IO. The Miniature Multiverse website is here. Or you could let people know about the project, before the full game is ready to launch, as I plan to have a reduced-resolution free version available.
KNOW ALL OF THIS HAS BEEN A LONG READ, and it kind of bothers
me to be requesting all this, but I am trying to get a lot of
projects done that I'm convinced are, or could potentially be,
great entertainment. But if you don't care about any of
what I'm doing with videos or games yet because you don't yet
know enough about, or understand (or like) what I'm trying to
finish, I totally get that. It is your call, after all. Some
of my stuff is admittedly pretty campy, quirky or
offbeat, so if you don't see potential in anything I'm
working on, you're free to ignore my work. I'd understand,
especially after this irritating monologue or whatever you
call it. But I really do hope you'll all stick
around, partly because some amazing, even
astonishing things are going to show up here for free
pretty soon, and partly because if you'd like custom artwork for
one of your projects, I can help you fulfill your creative
vision cheaply and efficiently. Feel free to contact me on