Fortress Siege 2

fortress-siege-2

I’ve finished my time with family over Christmas and we recorded a sequel, Fortress Siege 2. This picture reveals some of the costumes people wore while acting in front of bluescreen.
Obviously it’ll look way more epic once the computer-generated backgrounds are added.

It’s the eighth video I’ve directed with my extended family over the past 14 years. The first one was ‘Snow Siege’ in 2003.

I am going to be working towards getting many of my old (and new) video projects online this year.

Happy New Year 2017, everybody!

I attended the Art Market at the Houston Vineyard, and it wasn’t quite what I expected.

vineyard-art-market-picsFirstly, big thank you to the Houston Vineyard for putting this together, lots of artists in the area had booths, which was great, and the atmosphere was very nice, well decorated, good snacks, pastries, and hot cider, coffee, hot chocolate, etc. The live nativity was cute, some church members filling in the roles, including a baby as the baby Jesus. There were three goats and a donkey there and they handled the bright lights and music and guests well, though one of the goats was apparently a bit rambunctious and kept messing with the guy playing Joseph.

The main issue here was, I think, the lack of local promotion beyond the obvious laminated banners at the building itself. Simply put, visitors were sparse, and many of the ones who were there were already church members. I think there were more vendors than visitors in the art market, at all times, only at most six or seven people browsing at any one point and most of those not interested in buying anything.

I cannot say anything about foot traffic with confidence, of course, as my booth was in a dead-end section of hallway leading to a door to the main area of the church (off limits to most everyone during the event) and I didn’t notice every single person who walked into the venue.

However, even though there weren’t many people looking at the arts/crafts the few who did show up at my table were awesome.

Everyone commented on the art on display, many people were impressed by the Southwestern piece I did specifically for the show, and there were also many other items that drew attention.
Ann Armstrong and some other local artists walked by when the pace slowed down and we chatted.

Ultimately, I sold three items. One was a small pastel work on paper, of a dog, one was the NYC skyline artwork, which has been pulled off of my Etsy shop because of this event, and won’t be activated there again.

The third was the Southwest oil pastel mentioned earlier, which I fortunately was able to photograph before selling it.

Southwest Artwork, oil pastel
Southwest Artwork, oil pastel

I also had some people really impressed by the video reel (vfx reel and short films) that I was playing on a cheap Android tablet on the table. There was a lot of enthusiasm as there often is when people actually see my video work. I still want to get hours of that content online in the next year, and if things go well enough business wise that should be feasible.

I have had a former cast member, Bradley Wallace, once say, “One day we’ll look back and say, we knew Matthew years before he became famous”. That’s something he said that I still remember, and although I’m hardly ‘famous’ and my work is still very cheap (“You’re undercharging”, say my uncle and other family members) it is sometimes valued higher later simply because it’s so cheap to start off with.

A decade ago I sold a triptych (three paintings) for $90, which was later appraised at $150. That was at another crafts fair way back in the old Redeemer days. My work is *still* quite affordable, obviously, which you’ll realize once you learn that the image above was of a 36″x54″ oil pastel item, which I sold for just $45.00.

I’ve probably put a total of around 6-7 hours into it, so I made more per hour with this than with the vast majority of the work I do. (My usual going rate is around $3.50-$5/hour in practice.)

People say I undercharge, but in my experience this is how much my work is valued by the art market; if I aim anywhere above $5/hr the stuff usually won’t sell. (Art valuation is really screwed up, BTW, and I feel much of the modern art out there is grossly overvalued simply because the artist has a ‘name’, but maybe that’s just me.)

$4/hr or so, instead, seems to be the sweet spot right now. It used to be $2-3 per hour but business has been really good lately and now it’s up to $4.
And really, I’m very happy with $4/hr, even if most others wouldn’t be. It’s a type of work I love doing, and if I can line up 7 1/2 hours of work per day at that rate that’s $30/day which is not at all bad, IMO. At $30/day, if I can do that consistently, I’ll make $10,500 in the next year… enough to pay bills and recurring baseline costs, pay a bit in rent to my parents, and with an extra 4-5 hours a day free to work on my own personal projects! I could get several game productions and a couple dozen videos released online next year if this goes as well as I’m hoping.

Maybe some of that will be lucrative in its own right, which would be phenomenally awesome. (By lucrative, I don’t mean I’m trapping that content behind a paywall. It will all be free but with some ads and also DVD editions available on this shop.)

Selling items at the Vineyard Art Market

I’ll be selling some beautiful new artworks first locally at the Vineyard Art Market on December 17th, 2016, and anything that doesn’t sell there will hit Etsy soon after Dec. 17.

Here’s a PDF I’ve made promoting the event and my part in it, at the Vineyard Church of Houston:

2016 Vineyard Art Market PDF

If you’re in the Greater Houston area you won’t want to miss this. Not only is there the big art sale, there’s a live nativity, carolers, free refreshments… and I am willing to reduce my prices without compromising the donated portion, if enough people take a look at the PDF I’ve just linked to.

And, yes, there’s a donated portion. 10% is the minimum, to donate to provide clean drinking water to impoverished villages, but I’m giving 40% and potentially more, as much as 2/3, for more info please read the PDF! (It’ll be updated soon with a bunch of pictures of the work I’ll be bringing to the booth there. But for now it’s mostly just text. Sorry.)

Glossy, beautiful prints under a dollar, original handcrafted works under $10!

Vibrant, beautiful art at a great price!

For the near future, from now until December 22nd, I will be launching a massive sale of new content on my shop, including a wide range of prints, handcrafted original works, and the release of the new House Trek DVD!

This includes glossy prints of my work, as large as 8×10, for under a dollar each, and postcards also under $1 each.

It also includes original handmade art at smaller sizes, discounted under $10 for some of the smaller sizes.

There is also a way in which you can get a few items off my store for free. We’ll get to that topic later, so keep reading.

People are asking me why I would do this? How can I offer such low pricing? I had an email a few days ago from someone in the same field who was actually telling me I should charge more, and I have had a few ‘your deals are too good to be true, you must be misleading us in some way’ messages.

Actually, I’ve never cheated anyone, and I do deliver the product you order from me at a very low price. The only downside is that sometimes this takes longer than anticipated. There have been, in the worst cases, deliveries that were a week or more late, but I always apologize profusely in such cases and tend to refund part or all of the sale amount, essentially allowing the customer to have the item for free if it shows up really late. Even in such bad cases, the reason for the delay is hardly laziness on my part or ill intent. I’m simply drowning in work for customers from time to time and scrambling desperately to fulfill all of the orders.

Two items in particular I’m ashamed to say are currently in this category – both interactive media content. In one case I am really struggling with the problems inherent in debugging a WebGL build and have put in dozens of overtime, unpaid hours on a custom virtual tour embedded in a website. All in all, it has been a prolonged 200+ hour effort for which I have not been paid more than $100 as yet. The other is supposedly a ‘small’ project under $10, but I have spent a dozen hours on it now and am refunding about half the order amount to the customer as an apology for the delay in delivery. That is me – I am the rare artist who actually genuinely values the work and the customers’ happiness this much.

This – at times – undermines the prospect of having a viable long-term business that turns any sort of profit. To the emailer who criticized $5/hour as ‘not enough pay’ and ‘not even minimum wage!’ take into consideration that $5 an hour is the most I have ever made on a job, it’s kind of an aspiration of mine to make about that much consistently, someday from my work somehow without compromising the value I offer everyone.

I work 12 hours a day on peoples’ projects, plus 3-4 hours on my own personal projects, and I am lucky to earn $15-20 a day doing all of this. I am happy with this; it is more than I used to be making a few months ago, and it is enough that I can become a taxpayer next year by earning more than $5000 in one year. I work more than most people, yet I am officially categorized as ‘unemployed’ as far as the business world is concerned. Go figure. You need to understand that this is work I enjoy, and that I enjoy making games, or videos, or still art, more than I enjoy playing or viewing them.

I would really like to make a bit more from this work, however, given that I am currently struggling with tight finances. There are compromises I am making now that I’d rather not make; I would like to give Christmas gifts, even if modest ones, to family and I’d like to maintain my web hosting setup as it currently stands (i.e. all my website stuff) and back up all my data locally and in the cloud, and have enough spare art supplies and shipping materials to deliver content to customers quickly, and replace a component in my PC that is causing problems, plus keep moving forward on my video and game productions, even if slowly.

I want to do all of this, because I really do want to keep doing the creative work I’ve been doing, and I want to have some sort of reserve so this all doesn’t shut down catastrophically if something goes wrong, but there’s a cost to all of it and right now the gap between what I want to do by the end of 2016 and what I actually can do the way things are going, is about 30-35%. I cannot come up with any practical way to bridge that gap at the moment other than to land more work that pays at least $2.50/hr.

I have a growing reputation for delivering exceptional value – already over 160 ratings on my eBay seller account, all positive, and that’s great, but I don’t want to put everything in that one venue! Why should I, when eBay charges fees adding up to as much as 10% of the listing value, limiting how low I can safely push my prices, how much I can make while still providing exceptional services?

So basically, I’ve ended up raising prices there by 30% because that shop has been swamped with orders the past few months. Not just the obvious orders, even – there were some people who contacted me asking if I could help with art projects only indirectly related to what I had on my auction listings, and in many of those cases I agreed to help at rates well under $5/hour.

But generally, this can’t continue indefinitely.

The truth is that expanding my productivity and product lines, and offering better and better options to customers, requires an increase in efficiency that will only be possible with better production tools. And those require a certain amount of money too.

Right now I’m hoping to raise about $100 or so to cover the cost of a used large-format inkjet printer and another $200 roughly for a list of equipment and software required to launch another few lines of innovative products and services, things I truly believe you’d like to see.

There’s been a lot of talk about my handmade art and while I offer video services and sometimes 3D art for games, I want to diversify to more venues and more types of items done cheaper and better per dollar than anyone else will offer them. You want a virtual tour, previz for an architectural space? I can do that, cheaper than anyone else. Custom miniature kits of specific buildings or places in the real world? Again, I’ll design something amazing for you. Posters? Other custom-printed items at lower-than-normal pricing? Yes. There are other things too, but you get the idea. There are a ton of services I want to offer you all but simply can’t until things improve. That’s on top of the stuff I want to do personally for public online release – my videos and games and comics that you all have been waiting on practically forever.

I intend to raise this by selling a batch of handcrafted originals on Etsy, and a bunch of related prints on this shop and on Zazzle.

I won’t beg excessively for help, and won’t ask for donations or crowdfunding backers or any such nonsense. I will offer a lot of even more absurdly cheap item sales here, and elsewhere, and I ask that you consider buying an item or two and rating what you ordered afterwards, so this doesn’t turn into a totally disappointing debacle.

One of my best options for improving value to customers while also raising my hourly rate, is to sell on my own shop and not elsewhere. This allows me to avoid the fees found in other venues, so it is beneficial to me to see my own shop boom. But given the lack of those first few buyers who leave reviews, people do not trust the shop here yet. They don’t know it is here, and it has no real reputation as yet. There is a sense of stagnation across my websites and it frustrates me more than anyone. I *want* to move it all forward. But if my time is being consumed by work that, in the absolute worst cases, has amounted to 1/10th of minimum wage, then it really will keep dragging on and going nowhere until something goes wrong that I cannot overcome and it simply all goes belly up.

That would be a colossal tragedy for me personally and for all of you who have wanted my work completed. But if it isn’t, you need to acknowledge that you are in some small sense personally responsible for that lack of progress. If the average visitor to my network of websites spent 50 cents on one of my shops, over the next year, I would see a tremendous boost to production and to available product lines, project completions, etc.

So… I will offer gift cards to anyone who emails me here, $5 off any order in my store. Limit one per customer, and only 7 available. So supplies are limited; first seven to email me will get the first seven codes. That’s how it goes. I won’t spam you or sell your email info, I promise, though plenty of you who’ve found my email address have spammed or tried unsuccessfully to scam, me.

Even so, I’m not giving up on this audience – as some of you have been really great people. I’m willing to stretch myself even thinner and hand off $35 worth of gift cards now to you guys.

Tack that onto a small order and you wind up with free postcards/prints, or a small free handmade artwork mailed to you. Plus, you can get points back on future orders, with anything you spend here, as you might have noticed with the loyalty rewards program – and the point system is actually quite generous. As in, every $8 spent gets you enough points to save a dollar on your next order. Essentially, 12.5% cash back if you use that program, plus if you share links to the shop on social media, you can get extra points that way too.

There’s also an affiliate program which allows you to grab 7.5% of any sales made to the customers that you deliver here, so if you invite others you get a cut of whatever they spend on my shop. I don’t like affiliate programs all that much, mind you, as the phrase is often associated with unethical activity, but the reality is I don’t have a real advertising budget at this point beyond $5/month or so, so it really helps if I can convince you in some way to make others aware of this shop’s existence or the existence of TriumphantArtists.com, etc.

These three things combined – a $5 gift card code, the loyalty rewards program, and the affiliate program – allow you to get a ton of stuff off this shop for far less than even the already very low ‘sticker pricing’ seems to suggest. And given the option of ordering securely via PayPal, there’s essentially no risk involved! Better, I will do whatever I can to refund any sale amount in the case of a dispute, within 60 days, so if you’re unhappy with the work for any reason, ask for a refund, I will be willing to provide at least a partial refund on your order, in most cases. (I’d rather do that than get swamped by negative ratings!)

Here’s the thing though: I am doing everything I can to encourage first-time buyers, repeat buyers, and viral sharing of the bargains to new buyers, but I won’t be able to expand the product lines here substantially very soon unless you (a bunch of you) grab the end-of-year sale opportunity while it is active.

So I am hoping you will buy something here soon, given the presence of all of these massive incentives. If this fails horrendously, then I’ll try again after Christmas, but I am really hoping a few of you might take this chance to get things moving here on my shop. I’d love to see more people find great discounts here, because right now there are a lot of fantastic art prints and originals here and no buyers, despite the fact that basically EVERYTHING here is effectively now 30-45% cheaper than on my eBay shop.


So in summary:

A LIMITED RUN OF $5 GIFT CARD CODES FOR MY SHOP, FREE, JUST EMAIL ME AT THIS EMAIL ADDRESS: matthornb@gmail.com

MY SHOP, WHERE YOU CAN BUY STUFF USING THE GIFT CARD CODE TO SAVE $5 ON YOUR ORDER: http://hornbostelproductions.com/wordpress-4.5.2/wordpress/shop/
(the loyalty rewards program option should appear as an overlay when you first visit the shop)

JOIN THE AFFILIATE PROGRAM: http://hornbostelproductions.com/wordpress-4.5.2/wordpress/affiliate-area/

Or buy prints at a slightly higher price on Zazzle here: http://www.zazzle.com/triumphantartists

Or originals on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MatthewLHornbostel?ref=hdr_shop_menu

Or, if you’d prefer not to save quite as much money as any of those, there’s always my eBay shop: http://www.ebay.com/usr/mtthornb

THANK YOU FOR READING. NOW, I’d really appreciate it if you’d decide to start shopping through these links!

House Trek trailer released on videos page

As of yesterday, a trailer for the rerelease of my campy old ‘House Trek’ videos was posted on TriumphantArtists.com’s videos page. You can find it here,
or simply watch this embed below:

This marks the early stages of a lot of my movies, even a lot of fairly embarrassingly bad ones, winding up on the internet. If you acted in any of my videos, please contact me via the contact page on TriumphantArtists.com! I will need contact info for all the past cast members on old projects, who haven’t already signed talent release forms.

A talent release form, by the way, is basically a form in which the actor agrees that their image/voice/likeness as recorded by me in a video work, can be placed online. My version of the talent release form is distributed by ESignGenie, which lets you sign it digitally, via email, which is still legally valid. My version of the form is longer than a standard-issue release form, as it also defines terms of compensation for actors, and applies to video games, still art, and interactive media, not merely video.

Some of you have already given contact info and agreed to my broad terms but there are a number of holdouts or people I have proven so far unable to reach. If that is you, please email me, again using the contact info page on TriumphantArtists.com.

Sorry, a little late in posting this.

I often fall behind schedule in doing things, but it isn’t that I intend to mislead anyone.

Realistically, a lot of tasks take longer than anticipated. I am working on the new Etsy items as described in the previous post, but this takes some time, especially with all the other stuff I have going on.

It also didn’t help that I was occupied with/distracted by a family visit a few of those days.

Nonetheless, you WILL see a lot of new content posted in the coming weeks.

Here’s an overview of what is going on:
-I’m working on a big project for the curator of an exhibit in the UK. This involves not only a complete web design but also a substantial realtime 3d virtual tour of the exhibit contents. This has involved many, many hours in the past few weeks, but it will be done soon and the fact that it is steady work is good; I stand to make a reasonable amount of cash from this.
-I have a couple of other freelance gigs I’m wrapping up that are much smaller.
-I am trying to get some Etsy items launched, beginning with two in particular – a wetlands scene inspired by the Everglades, and a nonspecific view of the American Southwest. These two will be the next Etsy items made available, they are both oil pastel works, the first is 24″x36″ and the latter is a staggering 36″x54″.
Prices will likely be $36.99 and $45.99 for the originals and the usual $1.20 for Zazzle postcard prints.
-I am trying to launch postcards, stickers, refrigerator magnets, ornaments, pencils, posters, etc, through my own shop as well. I will eventually be making my ambitious N scale model railroad product line available but that has a significant initial setup cost so that won’t likely happen until late 2017.
-I’ve made massive strides on the new animation for House Trek (the original series) which was initially recorded from 2001-2004. I’m now rereleasing those six videos on the interwebz, one at a time, once/week over the span of six weeks beginning on , on TriumphantArtists.com’s videos section, plus I am readying exclusive DVD-only content, including making-of featurettes, a bonus seventh episode, and disc art, animated menus, subtitles, etc. All on a DVD that can be ordered starting on the day I release the first episode online. I think October 27th, 2016 is likely for this. The DVD item is $5.99 and it is only available on my official store.
-Speaking of ancient Hornbostel relics, House Trek 6 was my first time using Lightwave for a video, and my first time using it for a game was during the same year. (it was a 100% freeware fangame that drew from a certain fantasy adventure game series)… that fangame was made using a now discontinued toolset/game engine, back in 2004, and is not compatible with anything but old versions of Windows. So in the interest of bringing that game and a handful of other long-delayed non-profit fan projects to a point where they will be available to everyone, I am rebuilding it in a new game engine at much higher resolution. The world of the game is now expanded with added detail and animation – the total geometry of the gameworld has gone from 240k polys to a little over 1.1 million – and it includes two new environments, a couple of new puzzles, it’s just generally bigger, more immersive, and more realistic looking now. A link to more information will be posted fairly soon, but just keep in mind that the new version will be a freeware (100% free!) browser game built with HTML5/WebGL technology. The new version should run on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, & Linux. Between this freeware fan game, the fansite and fan content related to it, and other original-IP
games (not fan games but nonetheless part of the broad adventure genre) like Spiral Skies, Panoramic Worlds, & Isola, there’s a lot for adventure game fans to anticipate around here.
-Also, I intend to re-release ‘Relativity’, ‘Storm’, the first ‘Send in the Clones’ and ‘Creativity’ online by the end of the year, and maybe even a few other videos. Yes, I know, I’m beginning mostly with a bunch of stuff recorded inside my house, with no cast members besides myself. That’s intentional, given the fact that the current version of the casting agreements begin paying cast members new sums for a video, only after that video is released online. Starting with these short art videos and single-person projects, gives me a way to build up some sort of online audience, and indirect revenue out of the gate with minimal amounts being deducted to pay cast members. That ensures the whole thing will be profitable and sustainable long term.
I already have a lot of licensed audio and other necessary stuff in place for House Trek and for these other projects as well. I’m figuring the videos, once all launched online/rereleased, will have cost about another $3000.00 or so on top of the $7600 already put into the initial versions of all these dozens of videos shot over the past 15 years (which have never been available to the broader public, only friends & family) but will generate nothing directly and only a little indirectly.
The expectation is that freelancing and product sales will cover the majority of these costs. I can only justify this sort of venture which cannot generate revenue, if it is paid for by projects that do. So basically keep in mind that your purchases from me on eBay, Etsy, Zazzle, CafePress, or this store here, do raise funding not just to keep developing new paid items but also help me release a lot of freebies as well.
-I’ve been promising this forever, but the new comics are also on the way. There’s some T4 stuff on this site and also my odd original work “Another Road Taken”.
-There are new articles, and a new Vlog entry (on my YouTube channel) due soon too. I’m doing the best I can to keep people here from getting bored and it seems to be working fairly well. Watch for more news in the next week including some intriguing visual content.

What’s next around here?

FREELANCE ART —> MY OWN PROJECTS

I’m wrapping up a string of freelance jobs and that’s winding down somewhat now. I am still busy but have some time free now to plan out my next move.

I’ve got enough art supplies, time, and resources to do a bunch of new artworks (not for specific customers but just my own stuff)
so I’m doing mostly that for the next week or so. The goal is to sell the originals on Etsy and prints on Zazzle, but the not-so-secret secret regarding the prints is that they are going to be on my shop as well, and they’ll be available as postcards for $0.99 each or, if things go well enough to justify it, also as glossy photo-paper prints, $0.49 for 4×6, $0.79 for 5×7, $0.99 for 8×10, $1.29 9×12, $1.69 11×14, $2.09 12×16, $2.59 13×19.

In the case of the larger sizes, they’re essentially posters, really cheap posters! The secret of course is they aren’t printed by a third party but directly by me on a large format printer.
I’ve found a good printer to do this with but it’s only an option if there are strong enough sales right out of the gate, to both cover the cost and justify it.

You will see many of these new items posted over the course of the next week.

Swamped – not much time to pursue my own projects

MY CURRENT SITUATION AS A VENDOR

I (Matthew Lyles Hornbostel) have had a seemingly endless stream of orders coming in from eBay lately.  Some of them are not even based on listings I’ve posted – in some cases it has been just different people contacting me through eBay messages and asking if I can work on their particular project.

Now, the fact that I’m busy is nice, it’s good news for my business to have customers.  However, it’s not great for friends and family and online viewers who have been more than patient as creative projects like ‘Panoramic Worlds’, ‘Vivid MiniGolf’ and numerous imaginative videos inch towards release at a snail’s pace.  It’s also not good if I am beholden to too many customers as some of my customers’ tasks will be delayed a bit.

I also don’t like the fact that eBay is almost my sole source of customers, as this puts me at risk if, say, there’s a problem on eBay.  For example, I recently had one of my customers accidentally click a button that flagged one of my images for review.  So now eBay will be reviewing my account for TOS violations, and while I can’t think of any real problem with my account (as a seller I’m ethical and provide outstanding service, which is attested to by my 158 current ratings, all of which are positive) the fact that some obscure clause in the TOS might possibly get my eBay account suspended makes me uncomfortable.

MY NEW DECISION

So, all of this said, I’ve decided to raise my prices on eBay by about 15% for the time being to reduce the rate at which I receive orders and prevent future backlog.  eBay is still a good way for people to hire me but it is not going to be quite as good a value as my WooCommerce-based shop on HornbostelProductions.com.

Doing this:

-Raises my effective hourly income on eBay by about 30-35%

-Reduces eBay order volume and further encourages my viewers to consider the store here instead.

-In reducing my freelance workload through eBay, I have a bit more time freed up to work on other things that show promise.

Seriously, now would be the time for anyone looking for custom made to order, handcrafted art in gouache, acrylic or pastel, to look at the listings on my shop here instead of my shop on eBay… especially when you consider the rewards program I’ve put in place on my own shop to provide superb value to repeat customers.

PRICE COMPARISON:

Usual pricing on other art made-to-order shops besides mine, for a 12″x 16″ artwork: $150.00

My price on eBay from now on: $23.99

My price on my own shop: $19.29

Typical discounted price on my own shop with member reward program in place: $15.99

IN SUMMARY, the payments on my shop are secure as they’re PayPal based.  The options are more varied than my shop on eBay.  And the prices are lower.  And although nobody has posted a rating of my shop here yet, they have posted 158 positive ratings on my eBay shop, and zero negatives, which is a strong indication that I’m not cheating my customers and in fact am actively trying to resolve their complaints and questions.

 

So take a look at the great values on my shop here!

Massive batch of new releases arriving

I’m rushing to launch a series of new products, and many of these are going to be exclusive to my WordPress/WooCommerce store.

I’m also scrambling to release a bit of new free stuff, in the next 24 hours.  It’s a bit of a gamble and things might go badly, maybe the new items won’t sell and maybe, despite a confluence of releases and social-media posts and a small ad campaign, this shop will still be stagnant compared to my eBay venue – but I am hoping these products do sell, because if they do, it could make a real difference in my projects (i.e. Panoramic Worlds and many others)

I will maintain my roster of art services, though the prices might increase whenever I become totally bogged down with freelance tasks.  Right now I am facing a situation in which I have been able to land a fairly substantial list of gigs, maybe almost too many, in the last couple of weeks, some of which are massive and still in progress.  A few days back I incrementally raised prices on eBay and yet there are still orders flowing in regularly.  If demand for my work continues to increase I will continue steadily raising my prices.

I am expecting this might happen at some point in the next four or five days.  The next handful of orders will get the current, slightly increased but nonetheless very reasonable prices.   After that all the services will climb in cost by about 15 or 20%.

 

These smaller products are largely of the ‘art print’ variety – posters, stickers, postcards, buttons, and that sort of thing. There are some beautiful big oil pastel works I’ve been working on in shifts in between other long shifts for customers – original items made by hand on a massive scale (24″x 36″) and those will be the images you will see on these printed products. The hope is that I can not only sell items designed for customers (i.e. commissions) but some artworks of my own imaginative design!

So you will see the originals on sale only via my Etsy shop and the printed items only available here.

There’s also a new video compilation due for release shortly – the House Trek series is now going to be available on DVD/Blu-Ray, again, only on the hornbostelproductions.com shop!

The House Trek series is of course incredibly cheesy, I shot this goofball set of six short home movies in 2001-2004, and they have a childlike sense of wonder and adventure that defies realism in many ways. More solo fantasy space opera than hard SF, the six short videos are accompanied by a pair of making-of featurettes. One covers the recording of the original versions, the other covers the process of remastering them with new audio and visual effects elements, and getting them into a condition that was suitable for internet release and sale. The word ‘trek’ aside, this is not a fan film. I don’t violate anybody’s IP and this is inspired by a range of sci-fi sources but is not tied to any of them as is sometimes guessed by viewers.

I know many of you don’t know what the heck these videos are, and I understand any hesitation, but keep in mind that there are many many other better and more elaborate videos I have recorded since ’04, and I want to get all of them ready to put online. That will work out better if here is some indication of interest in this project from the public.

So everyone please keep an eye on my shop. Big stuff launches soon!

August 14, 2016 shop changes

I am now implementing a few changes.


  1. There is now a complete ratings/reviews system integrated into the shop so customers can rate the quality of various items.  I encourage customers to rate items they buy after they are delivered.  This will help everyone realize just how good this shop is.
  2. There are small, reasonable shipping fees now, in anticipation of some small-value items being added to the store.  Shipping is free, however, on orders over $35 delivered within the USA, or over $45 internationally.
  3. There are more pricey shipping options available also – but they shave a week or more off the maximum delivery time.
  4. There’s a backlog system that measures how much stuff is piled onto my plate at any given time.  It uses a simple green to red scale, like so:

backlog

The current color as of August 14th, 2016: ORANGE-RED