One Tentacle Publishing – Sorrows Book Launch

Sorrows, a children's picture book by Lisa Tiffen

We were delighted to launch Lisa Tiffen’s third children’s book – Sorrows, in partnership with the fabulous Uki Post Office in December 2018.  

There was not a tear in sight at the launch of ‘Sorrows’, only the coffees had the blues, but even they were sprinkled with rainbows! The ever cheerful Carol Robinson launched the book and no tissues were needed! 

Thankyou to all the people who came with their biggest smiles and helped make the event a joyous uplifting occasion.

‘Sorrows’ is the third book in a series of quirky and fun picture books that deal with children’s emotions. We look forward to launching Lisa’s fourth book ”Frights’ in May 2019. Stay tuned for details!

You can purchase Sorrows’ by clicking here.

Sound of Picture Books – September 2018

In September 2018 The Literature Centre, WASO and Yamaha undertook the biggest Sound of Picture Books collaboration to date. I had the privilege of four of my musical works, accompanied by my artworks from the books, being performed over a two week period to just under 5,000 students across Western Australia. I was thrilled to work with the author of The Incredible Freedom Machines, Kirli Saunders and the amazing Danny Parker (Tree & Parachute) to bring these picture books to life.

As issues surrounding asylum seekers and refugees continue to be of concern, it was wonderful to have the opportunity to perform Home & Away (written by John Marsden) to help create discussion around this complex issue.

The musicians from WASO were outstanding as ever, and Alf Demasi from Yamaha with both his prowess on the piano and his tech abilities, held the productions together. Thank you Alf.

We look forward to the Sound of Picture Books being performed again in 2019, including a new work Dumazi and the Lion, a collaboration between myself an Valanga Khoza. If you or your school would like to see the performances please contact The Literature Centre for details.

Exhibition: The Incredible Freedom Machines

Limited Edition Art Print by Matt Ottley from "The Incredible Freedom Machines"

My latest picture book collaboration is with the fabulously talented author and performer Kirli Saunders. The Incredible Freedom Machines is a poetic story about one young girl’s search for freedom and the liberating power of literature.

An exhibition of my original oil paintings from The Incredible Freedom Machines is currently on display at The Literature Centre (TLC) in Fremantle, alongside Shaun Tan’s Cicada, The All New Must Have Orange 430 by Michael Speechley and That Christmas Feeling by Lili Wilkinson and Amanda Francey.

The exhibition runs until the end of Term 4. Contact TLC for opening days and times. Limited edition prints are available from my website

You can purchase a signed copy of the book from my website or any major bookstore.

One Tentacle Publishing – Lovelies Book Launch

Lovelies: Children's Book Launch by Australian Author Lisa Tiffen

In partnership with the fabulous Uki Post Office we launched Lisa Tiffen’s second children’s book – ‘Lovelies’ in June 2018.  Complete with sparkles, smiles and fanfare the book was launched to an excited audience by the lovely Jo Spiller (whose speech—according to Lisa—was quite possibly suitable for the royal wedding).

Lovelies’ is the second book in a series of quirky and fun picture books that deal with children’s emotions. We look forward to launching Lisa’s third book ‘Sorrows’ later in the year.

A huge thank you to the small businesses who came on board to provide food, flowers and fabulous entertainment on the day! We appreciated the hours of preparation and thought you put in to creating such fun, beautiful and delicious displays!!

You can purchase ‘Lovelies’ from Lisa’s website by clicking here.

Art Post Uki – Exhibition – The art of children’s books

Art Post Uki Exhibition by Matt Ottley

In March I was very privileged to be chosen as the first artist to participate in a wonderful new initiative in our local community – Art Post Uki.

Art Post Uki is a roving exhibition of local artists works on display at the heritage post office, recently restored and renovated by the new post master, Gary Wall.  Gary is so excited to be able to bring an element of art and culture to the historic building.

“We are passionate about cultivating and fostering local home-grown talent, bringing employment opportunities and sharing a love for this historic, vibrant town, so what better way than launch a series of roving art exhibitions to support local artists.”

Located in the heart of the Northern Rivers’ historic village, Art Post Uki provides a vibrant space that integrates a passion for art and coffee within a Post Office. Built in 1909, and recently restored, the heritage-listed Uki Post Office provides a unique platform to showcase and support local artwork which reflects Uki and Northern NSW.

The exhibition featured a variety of images from my children’s books, along with prints, books and DVDs and was launched by the wonderful Lynden Stone. I feel very honored to have been the first artist to take part in this wonderful event, and look forward to seeing other local artist’s works in the future.

I hope you enjoy some of the photos from the night, courtesy of local photographers Alan and Perri Wain of Vibrant Imaging.

One Tentacle Publishing – Grumps Book Launch

Grumps Book Launch by Lisa Tiffen and One Tentacle Publishing

My partner Tina and I have recently set up a small publishing company known as One Tentacle Publishing. Our aim is to nurture budding writers/illustrators through the creation of quirky, fun and artistic picture books.

We were very pleased to launch Lisa Tiffen’s first children’s book Grumps on December 2nd in Murwillumbah, and look forward to working with her on her second book in the series – The Lovlies – stay tuned for its release in 2018!

You can purchase a copy of Grumps directly from Lisa’s website.

Click here to purchase a copy

IBBY Australia Honour Book

Matt Ottley IBBY Award

I am honored to have been awarded the IBBY Australia Honour book for my illustration work in Teacup, an exquisitely written text by Rebecca Young and published by Scholastic Press.

The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) is a non-profit organization which helps to build bridges to international understanding through children’s books. IBBY is committed to the principles of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by the United Nations in 1990.

Every two years an Advisory Panel of three children’s literature experts makes the selection from all books published in the period. These outstanding books become Australia’s representative books in a traveling exhibition of about 150 international titles. The exhibition will be shown at the IBBY Congress in Athens in 2018, at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and in many other countries.

Teacup is the story of a boy ‘who had to leave home’ and his long and arduous journey by sea, bringing with him only a book, a bottle, a blanket and a teacup full of earth from the place where he grew up.


The History of Harmony – A Devilish Tale

History of Harmony - A Devilish Tale

In July 2017 we held a special fundraising event for the Uki Refugee Project.

Alf Demasi from Perth (aka “The Monk”) flew in to the Northern Rivers to perform the stage production of the History of Harmony – A Devilish Tale.

The bold performance was followed by a very experimental live improvisation from some of the areas most talented musicians, giving people a greater understanding of experimental composition techniques and some insight into synesthesia (a condition in which one sense-for example, hearing-is simultaneously perceived as if by one or more additional senses such as sight).

Joined by the wonderful Murwillumbah Philharmonic Choir, we were overwhelmed by the audiences response.

Perth Fringe Festival – Teacup Musical Adaptation Launched

Teacup - One Boy's Story

Thank you to everyone who came along and supported the world premier launch of ‘Teacup’– a musical adaptation of the award winning picture book by Rebecca Young. Music Book Stories Inc. performed the 40 minute multi-artform work at the State Library of Western Australia as part of the Perth Fringe Festival.

Click here to purchase the DVD

“Ian and I attended the Friday premiere of, “Teacup – One Boy’s Story” with my son and his family and a friend and her little girls. It was an extraordinarily well attended event with overflow on the balconies and all. Could you pass on to Rebecca and her team and all those involved in the production our congratulations for a wonderful event. The whole production was nigh on perfect, a wonderfully evocative score, beautifully rendered by all those involved, with the screen rendering of the pictures as the story wound on providing the glue which ensured all senses were involved. All should be justly proud. The little ones I was with (except for the 2 year old and he is forgiven) were riveted through the whole event.”

Margaret Nowak – Chair, State Library of Western Australia

Crowd Funding – Teacup Performances

teacup performance help support us

We would love your support

Music Book and all of the artists involved in the performances of Teacup at the State Library of WA in January 2017 (provided free to the public), would greatly appreciate your support.

The score for Teacup has taken intensive months to write, there are many hours of practice going into the performance of the work by the musicians, not to mention all of the background organisation to get a project like this off the ground.

How you can help

Thanks so much.

Teacup – Fringe Festival Free Performance

Teacup Perth Fringe Festival performance

I am so honoured to have been asked by Music Book to produce a 40 minute multi-model piece for the 2017 Perth Fringe Festival.

Working with some incredibly talented musicians, I have combined an original musical score, recorded sounds, projected images, narration and song to create a 40 minute adaptation of the award winning children’s book Teacup by Rebecca Young.  The original oil paintings that I completed for Teacup are now part of the State Library of WA‘s Peter Williams Collection and will be exhibited to the public from 20th January through to 24th March.

This will be the world premiere production of Teacup – One Boy’s Story, supported by the City of Perth, and it is something I hope will be enjoyed by all ages.  It is free for everyone to attend.

Book Launch: Crusts

Crusts Book Launch


On August 6th we had the great pleasure of launching Crusts – the latest picture book from award winning Author Danny Parker and illustrated by me.  Heidi’s Place Books in northern NSW were the proud host, turning their store front into an intergalactic landscape – complete with aliens and a crumbling planet.  A huge thank you to Danny Parker for flying all the way from Perth to be at the launch.. and for having such a fantastic imagination to create a book about a boy who wouldn’t eat his crusts!

Jo Spiller gave the official launch, providing many wonderful facts about crusts that we weren’t aware of before.  A children’s workshop was hosted prior to the launch for people to learn about the processes behind its creation.

Click here to purchase a signed copy of Crusts.


Book Launch: ‘Crusts’

'Crusts' Book Launch. Author Danny Parker, Illustrator Matt Ottley

Crusts, written by Danny Parker and illustrated by me, published by Little Hare/Hardie Grant, will be launched by the fabulous Jo Spiller at Heidi’s Place Books in Murwillumbah on 6th August, 2016.

I will conduct two workshops, for both children and adults, in writing and illustrating a picture book. All being well, the author Danny Parker from Western Australia, will be joining us at the launch and co-conducting the workshops.

To book a place contact Renae or Heidi on (02) 6672 6881 or email

NSW Premier’s Literary Awards: ‘Teacup’

Matt Ottley painting an artwork for "Teacup" by Rebecca Young

I am delighted to announce that Teacup, a picture book written by Rebecca Young and published by Scholastic,  released mid last year, and illustrated by me, has just won the $30,000 Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature as part of the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

The response by the public continues to overwhelm me. Teacup has now been printed in Catalonia and Canada, and is soon to be released in America!

The original artworks, large scale oil paintings, have been on display at The Literature Centre in Fremantle, with prints available for purchase from my website. Click here to see which prints are currently available.

A huge thank you to Rebecca Young for her soulful text, and to Ana Vivas and the fantastic team at Scholastic for agreeing to publish such a poetic work.