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

One Tentacle Publishing – Lovelies Book Launch

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 by Matt Ottley

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

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.

Grumps Book Launch by Lisa Tiffen and One Tentacle Publishing

One Tentacle Publishing – Grumps Book Launch

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

Matt Ottley IBBY Award

IBBY Australia Honour Book

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.


History of Harmony - A Devilish Tale

The 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.

Teacup - One Boy's Story

Perth Fringe Festival – Teacup Musical Adaptation Launched

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

…Well done, it was truly beautiful…

Margaret Allen, Chief Executive Officer and State Librarian, State Library of Western Australia


teacup performance help support us

Crowd Funding – Teacup Performances

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 Perth Fringe Festival performance

Teacup – Fringe Festival Free 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.

Crusts Book Launch

Book Launch: Crusts


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.


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

Book Launch: ‘Crusts’

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

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

NSW Premier’s Literary Awards: ‘Teacup’

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.

'Faith' by Eve Jeffery, soundtrack by Matt Ottley

‘Faith’ Soundtrack

I had the pleasure of working with Eve Jeffery and David Lowe in the short, gripping documentary ‘Faith’, recently showcased at the St Kilda Short Film Festival.  ‘Faith’ was one of six short films chosen for the Olympus Film-maker Challenge.

It was an incredible experience to write seven pieces of music in just a few days. I also worked with the wonderful cellist Claire Yerbury on the music.

The film is currently doing the national and international circuit and will be available in the next twelve months online.

The King's ship digital print by Matt Ottley

CBCA Book of the Year Awards: ‘Suri’s Wall’ & ‘Teacup’

I am pleased to announce that my most recent book, Suri’s Wall, written by Lucy Estela and published by Penguin/Viking has been shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards.

Teacup was also listed as a notable.  The winner of the CBCA awards will be announced on August 19th.

Congratulations to Lucy Estela for being shortlisted on her very first picture book. It’s a truly beautiful text. My heartfelt thanks to Heather Curdie and all the team at Penguin Random House.

The artworks from Suri’s Wall will be on exhibition at The Literature Centre in WA in the fourth term.

Matt Ottley mask for Isobelle Carmody's Unmasking the Wild Exhibition

Unmasking the Wild

I have recently participated in the Unmasking the Wild Exhibition created by Author Isobelle Carmody in celebration of the Obernewtyn Chronicles.

The Exhibition features painted masks created by well known Children’s book Illustrators. The masks are currently being auctioned off to help raise funds for the Children in Crisis Fund and Animals Asia.

You can view or bid on my mask here, or bid on other artist’s fantastic creations.

Congratulations to Isobelle for the incredible work she has put into this very worthwhile project.