Why would you support a website network run by an openly mentally ill and unstable person?

Seriously, why?

Here are some good reasons:

1) I'm actually reasonably bright and creative and prolific/hard working despite my emotional instability,
and my condition of being 'blacklisted' by employers due to lack of conventional work history, and openness about my mental health challenges, has not stopped me from creating an absurd amount of creative output of [admittedly] varying quality. I've made a lot of artworks, not just traditional art like paintings, but also digital art, miniature art, videos and video games. I'm one of those people who refused to choose a niche and tried to get good at everything visual-art related.
And then I figured out other stuff in the process. Sound editing, assembly of sets, props and costumes, story writing and sometimes [pretty flat] acting, game programming, web design, ecommerce and marketing (my banner ads have been seen now by over 15 million people, and that does not even include social media ad camapigns) and, yes, I was able to pull together 15 million views and 25,000+ click thrus with less than $400. I did other stuff too when my artwork was unable to raise the cash I needed. My completed task list on mTurk is over 31,000 tasks, worth $1800+ total. The first 5000 of those averaged under $2 pay per hour, as has much of my other work historically over the years. I'll work 14 hours a day split across numerous projects, some of them are short-term gigs, some longer-term projects which I hope work out... but even now I still average well below minimum wage across my work time and still somehow get a lot of creative stuff going, including covering all the related expenses a bit at a time. Simply put, I work long hours on many things for low pay, which means there's risk but also potentially massive upside to hiring me. I'm also pretty fixated on customer service, even if that erases all gain from a transaction and then some. I've been exploited by a fair number of buyers on eBay, and a few on Etsy, which I shouldn't be mentioning as a source of pride, but I'm weirdly self-sabotaging that way... My Etsy shop's the first one to really be profitable, when I was running things on eBay I was losing hundreds of dollars a year and working hundreds of hours, at a loss. That is ultimately why my eBay shop collapsed in 2020 and stopped listing stuff for sale - with over 400 positive feedback, 100% positive. It was too successful in accumulating buyers, and it imploded.

The same thing happened to some degree early 2022 on Etsy, my deals were too good to the point of untenable and unsustainable
. On Etsy though I realized I could raise prices by about 10-15% and turn that around, surviving the occasional disastrous experience with an unreasonable customer and making an actual profit margin. It was really difficult for me to do this, but I did so because I didn't want to leave the customers with a closed shop. That kind of thing is not fair to the many wonderful people who treated me well.

I still am making a profit margin of under 20% on Etsy, and I'm defining profit here in a way no business would - profit here is defined as a salary.
I've made a personally record-breaking $2200+ in sales on Etsy in 2022, so far - that's sales - and of that the amount I actually cashed out is around $350. The rest is shipping, fees, materials, and the occasional refund to an upset buyer when they get a damaged package in the mail... in the end, I keep only about 17% of the sale amount, and that adds up to about $1-5 per hour of work so far this year. You might think my pay per hour is better on Itch.IO because the items are all digital and no shipping is involved, but actually the sheer hours of work making those digital collections mean that my earnings add up to $0.65 per hour worked. That is, incidentally, in my view something of a win compared to last year, when the earnings there were $0.40/hour.

2) I give to people. I actually am one of those weird people who doesn't like it that there are people starving or dying of preventable diseases, so I donate a bit each month to medical and relief causes for the poorest of the poor, and yeah, it's added up to about $15-20 a month this year which is pitiful but when you consider my pay rates that's actually around 10% of my monthly income.
I don't give to a local church, but I love the idea of tithing. I do think 10% is a minimum though and that most of us ought to be giving far more than that. If, by some insane fluke, I did have a hit somewhere, it'd result in significant impact on the world. Check GiveWell.org and the conclusion that saving someone's life can be done by the most efficient charities at an average cost of $200. I think that's a good deal. I want to do more of that.

If self-sacrifice and generosity, hard work, self-deprecating honesty, and patience are signs of mental dysfunction... I don't want to be sane. It's not healthy to be well-adjusted to a profoundly broken and sick society. The fact that I don't fit in anywhere may - as odd as it sounds - actually be an indicator that I'm doing something right.

If the fact that I make products and services dirt cheap, and give generously beyond that, isn't enough, that's okay. But if you want to support my creative ventures, here are ways to do so:

1) I actually have already made a ton of great, low-priced products and services, which you may want to look at. Check out the asset packs on Itch.IO and the printing services and other items on Etsy. This stuff is great and it's not that expensive!

2) Follow me on social media and gain notifications when a new release happens or a sale occurs. Try the likes of Twitter, or FB, Instagram, Pinterest...

3) Buy or wishlist my upcoming games. For example, Vivid Minigolf is going to have a Steam page soon, along with other titles like Miniature Multiverse soon after.

4) If you're an artist or VFX / gamedev person, seriously, again, check out the asset packs on Itch.IO and soon also Unity Asset Store.

5) Join my mailing list - it's an alternative to social media and occasionally announces major releases and sales. The Online email list is for people all over the world who I've never met in person but who are interested in following my projects. If you wish to be added to my mailing list, let me know at matthornb@triumphantartists.com and use the subject line 'I want to join the Triumphant Artists mailing list.'

6) Bookmark a few of my websites, or check my blog occasionally for news or updates. Or browse the shop there (Woocommerce/Wordpress based SSL-secured shop - has yet to take off but could absolutely explode over time) and know there's also a way to become a
shop affiliate and keep 9.5% of any revenue you drive to that shop. So your supporting me can actually make you money. Better, I plan to set up the same sort of system - although with a lower % - around my Etsy shop someday.

7) Inversely, you may have seen some affiliate links for Amazon.com, Sony, Microsoft, Yi, GameStop, etc, down there on my own banner rotation system. If you buy through those links I will get a cut. So that is a way of supporting me just by shopping on a major retailer. I also have affilliate links for cashback sites like TopCashback, Rakuten, Swagbucks, Inboxdollars. All of these have relatively established reputations, all offer payouts in some form for those who promote them, and I myself have made a total of over $120 across all of them in actual cashback when shopping on eBay, Walmart, and dozens of other big retailers. So I can vouch for each one of those cashback programs personally. They're not flawless, and occasionally they have glitches and bad offers, but they are basically the real deal and can and do pay well.

8) Take a moment to rate things you buy on any shop I'm selling things on - like Itch.IO, Etsy, eBay, Steam, etc. Every rating does help, not only in terms of giving future customers an idea of what to expect, but also in clarifying the credibility of the shops further and expanding the track record I already have across many of them.

Yeah... that's about it I guess.





     

Ads on TriumphantArtists.com and other websites run by Matthew Hornbostel, include banner ads from Comic Ad Network [top ad - an unfiltered banner rotation system predominantly used by web comics, art sites, but occasionally some questionable items.] and my own banner rotation system [bottom - anything here is either my own stuff like websites, online shops, or social media profiles, or has been vetted by me and found to be generally legit. I have several cashback sites [all of them are ones I've used and cashed out tens of $ from successfully already] and major online retail stores [Sony, Microsoft, Amazon...] in that mix. Usually they give me some sort of small compensation if you buy from them through the link, which I'm disclosing right now. They're all legit spots, but if skeptical do your own research before committing to anything.]