About me

I currently live with my partner in a peaceful little cottage on a rainforest covered mountain in Northern NSW.

I was born in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, where I spent the first eleven and a half years of my life. After almost failing high school in Sydney, I lived the itinerate life of a stockman for some years on cattle stations in Queensland, before returning to Sydney to study fine art and music. During my twenties I spent a couple of years in the UK, working as an equestrian artist, painting some of Britains leading polo ponies and thoroughbreds. I am now considered one of Australia’s most popular children’s author/illustrators, and have been published in several different languages around the world. I also work as a composer and used to be a professional flamenco guitarist (but I don’t have as much time as I’d like to practice any more). I am currently an endorsed Yamaha musician and am involved in many exciting music composition projects, which you can find out more about on the Yamaha page.

Some things I love, apart from the arts are woodworking, tea and wildlife. For many years along aside my day job I worked as a volunteer wildlife rescuer, specialising in snakes, possums and bats.

The following list contains most of my published works and exhibitions and some projects under contract but not yet released.

Published Books

  • Crusts, 2016 Danny Parker, Hardie Grant Egmont
  • Suri’s Wall2015 Lucy Estela, Penguin Random House, shortlisted CBCA picture book of the year 2016
  • Teacup2015 Rebecca Young, Ashton Scholastic, Winner of the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards – Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature, CBCA Notable 2016
  • Parachute2013 Danny Parker, Hardie Grant, shortlisted CBCA picture book of the year 2014
  • Tree2012 Danny Parker, Hardie Grant
  • No Kind of Superman2011 Danny Parker, Windy Hollow Books
  • Me and My Dad, 2010 Sally Morgan and Ezekiel Kwaymullina, Little Hare
  • The Serpent’s Tale, 2010 Gary Crew, Lothian/Hachette
  • Home and Away2009 John Marsden, Lothian/Hachette
  • Requiem for a Beast, 2007  Matt Ottley (Author/Illustrator), Lothian/Hachette, winner CBCA picture book of the year 2008, winner Queensland Premier’s award for YA fiction 2008
  • Faust in Space, 2006 Matt Ottley (Author/Illustrator), Hatchette Livre
  • Little Penguin, 2005 Josie Montano, Lothian Books
  • The Bubble, 2004 Josie Montano, Lothian Books
  • Ballads, Satire and Salt, 2003 Stephen Oliver, Greywacke Press
  • Hyram and B, 2003 Brian Caswell, Hodder Headline
  • Faust’s Party, 2000 Matt Ottley (Author/Illustrator), Hodder Headline
  • Unmanned, 1999 Stephen Oliver, cover illustration HeadworX Publishers
  • Luke’s Way of Looking1999 Nadia Wheatley, Hodder Headline (Children’s Book Council Shortlisted, and Honour Book, 2000 awards)
  • Mrs Millie’s Painting, 1997  Matt Ottley (Author/Illustrator), Hodder Headline
  • Sailing Home, 1996 Colin Thompson, Hodder Headline
  • What Faust Saw, 1995  Matt Ottley (Author/Illustrator), Hodder Headline
  • Exploring Australia by Land, 1988 Wade Hughes, John Ferguson Publishing
  • Exploring Ancient Australia, 1988 John Ferguson Publishing
  • Albert’s Rainy Day, 1987  Matt Ottley (Author/Illustrator), Hodder & Stoughton
  • Prehistoric Australia, 1987 Brian Mackness, Golden Press
  • Eyespy (children’s magazine)1985 Ashton Scholastic
  • Please Don’t Feed the Animals, 1984 Ashton Scholastic
  • Venomous wildlife, 1983 Golden Press
  • Dinosaurs, 1983 Golden Press
  • Ancient Australia, 1983 Golden Press
  • Explorers, 1983 Golden Press

Multi-modal works on DVD 

  • Home and Away (multimodal work containing images, the narrated text from the book Home & Away, and music for symphony orchestra and soprano by Matt Ottley) Matt Ottley, 2014
  • Parachute (multimodal work containing images, the narrated text from the book Parachute, and music for string quintet by Matt Ottley) Matt Ottley, 2014
  • Tree (multimodal work containing images, Danny Parker’s narration of his text for the book Tree, and music for string quintet and piano by Matt Ottley) Matt Ottley, 2013

CD’s of music

  • Requiem for a Beast Hachette/Lothian 2007
  • King Hit A collaboration with Stephen Oliver, Interactive Publications 2004

Books not yet released

  • Paper Boy by Danny Parker, Hardie Grant
  • Sarah and the Steep Slope by Danny Parker, Hardie Grant
  • Freedom Machines by Kirli Saunders, Scholastic
  • Wings by Danny Parker, Hardie Grant

Print media articles and illustrationswingedcreature

  • School Magazine, NSW Various illustrations since 2004
  • Beneath the Skin, May 2002 Scan vol 21, no 2
  • Lesley Rees lecture, 2008

Exhibitions of visual arts

Matt Ottley has exhibited paintings in the following major galleries;

  • The Upstairs Gallery, Cairns
  • Noella Burn Gallery, Sydney
  • Barry Stern Galleries, Sydney – solo exhibition
  • Bond Street Gallery, London
  • Black Swan Prize for Portraiture, Finalist, 2012
  • Tryon Gallery, London
  • Fremantle Children’s Literature Centre, Fremantle – solo exhibitions
  • Customs House gallery, Warrnambool
  • National Art Gallery, Canberra – solo exhibition
  • Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney
  • Books Illustrated, Melbourne
  • Stop Laughing, this is Serious Gallery, Sydney