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TRIUMPHANT ARTISTS

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About Triumphant Artists and the core ideas behind the network

The Triumphant Artists Web Network is owned and operated by indie artist Matthew Lyles Hornbostel, age 30. It's an assortment of interconnected websites showcasing his creative work and the work of his various friends and family members.

FOUNDING PRINCIPLES INCLUDE:

-Low or no prices on items, with hopes of making up for miniscule per-item profits with large volume of interested viewers. The texture content in the Triumphant Artists Complete Collection would probably sell for $60 or more some places, but I sold that and a lot more for well under $10. Then it was made available for free. This is typical. The only items I generally still charge for are the physical, handcrafted or custom-made ones.

-Aiming to satisfy every customer, even if the sale results in a financial loss... I have a strongly positive feedback rating on eBay because I will go to great lengths to rectify conflict with customers on eBay or other customers, even over-refunding on items or sending 3+ copies of the ordered item if needed.

-Getting things done efficiently and cheaply by being willing to work many low-paid or unpaid hours on projects just out of passion for the project and an overwhelming, possibly pathological desire to see those ideas realized.

-Giving back to people in his life beyond customers, whether it's to his friends, family... or donations to worthwhile causes.

Matthew has been making videos and art projects for most of his life. These websites and this 'business' are a way that he hopes to eventually build a career doing the work he loves doing.

He also seems to be writing in the third person right now, which is kind of peculiar.

Who is this Matthew weirdo anyway? What is his raw, unvarnished confession? What does he actually believe in?

I'm a University of Houston graduate with major in Communications/Media Production and Studio Art minor. I graduated in the top 10% of my class with a GPA of 3.67 and Phi Kappa Phi honors.

I grew up in Houston, Texas and still live there at this time; notable social circles include a lot of people from the churches I grew up attending and the local Eastwood scout troop [Troop 4] where I attained Eagle rank and where I've volunteered and organized parties and activities as a scout leader for years afterwards.

I began doubting the validity of organized religion around the age of 17, and started to question the existence of God - ultimately embracing agnosticism and a certain degree of spiritual ambiguity. I'm not willing to claim to know that there is a God or that there is none, because truthfully I have no objective proof of either case.

I've been spending most of my time on creative projects as long as I can remember. I would draw all over my notebooks in middle school, and when at the age of 13 I gained access to an SD video camera and rudimentary editing software I inevitably began making video productions that became increasingly elaborate over time. I'm still hoping most of that will make it online in the next two or three years, along with a bunch of brand new projects.

I'm determined to do something to stop illness because I know how much it [mental and physical illness] has been a problem for me and for others in my family, others throughout the world. And while I'm no doctor, I would like to actively support medical aid and medical progress. I've suffered a great deal in my life and have some deep-seated emotional weaknesses, and a severe tendency towards self-doubt, shame, depression, I have poor social skills in person, and just generally I'm often in a bad mood. While medication helps, it does not solve my issues, and it's largely been my experience that my own emotional turmoil is ongoing and unavoidable. So if I can't fix my own weaknesses, maybe I should focus on doing something for those whose illnesses actually can be healed. I'm looking at a part-time volunteering position at the Red Cross right now, and although I'm not that excited about the work itself, I really like what it's being used for. I don't believe in God, but I want to do something to make a difference in the world. My creative work, realistically, will not accomplish that, unless it goes somewhere [somehow]. In other words, if I can make $12k or more per year doing the work I love, anything above that threshold I intend to give away, because quite frankly, it's hard for me to justify keeping it.

Yeah, there's my confession, there's the truth as I see it. If you agree with any of what I'm saying, stick around, or don't - and I hope you'll donate to some worthwhile causes. Try looking at GiveWell.org and similar sites that analyze and review charities and identify the ones that are most effective and efficient in acheiving their stated goals. Try making a difference in the world, whether you continue viewing my websites/work or not, do try to do something useful and positive with your life. For me, that'll mean working 15-hour days most days, typically well below minimum wage, half on my own ventures and half on freelance gigs. If that continues to improve the way it has been lately, I'm hopeful that it'll result in being able to do a lot creatively and give a lot back as well, creating amazing work for customers and the broader public, and also giving a lot to friends, to family, and to those all across the world who need it most. I see my business not as a means to enrich myself [because that sounds pretty boring] but as a means to the end goal of giving to others, of providing great inexpensive services to customers, of providing entertainment to the public, of giving to friends, to family, to the world. And in my view given that I am earning below $6/hour on most of my work, the only way to do what I'd like to do really is to work as hard as possible as many hours as possible. There's no valid excuse not to, especially given the enormity of the need present in the world - and the sheer scope of my own creative goals aside from that. I'll confess here that my 'selfish' tendencies have a lot to do with wanting to release videos, video games, and other personal projects for people to enjoy online. And yes, that is arguably selfish, because it eats up some of my time, that could go elsewhere, and can inconvenience others at times as well. But I love to do personal projects in between working for customers. I think it helps keep me sane. I feel terrible about death, mine, other peoples', animals'. It really upsets me to the extent that I'm mostly vegetarian. I don't drink or smoke, I'm single and a virgin, with no attachments. I don't play video games as much as I used to, or watch movies/TV much any more. The time I could spend in a stupor, is better spent working in my view because I'm convinced a lot is at stake and that if I don't succeed somehow it will come at the cost of actual human lives. I can't accept that. With some of the most effective charitable causes human lives can be saved at a cost of around $200 per person. Why are we not trying to do this? Why do we waste cash on tithes or 'religious donations' that ultimately are not effective at accomplishing anything other than advancing a religious agenda and enriching delusional pinheads like (sigh) Benny Hinn or Joel Osteen?

I'd far rather put my money towards causes which do something tangible and which are used efficiently.