Matt Ottley was born in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, where he spent the first eleven and a half years of his life. His mother was a landscape artist, and as a child he and his brothers regularly travelled with her on painting excursions into the bush and around the villages of the Western Highlands.
After almost failing high school in Sydney, he lived the itinerate life of a stockman for some years on cattle stations in Queensland, before returning to Sydney to study fine arts and music. He then lived in the UK for three years, working as an equestrian artist. He is now one of Australia’s most popular children’s author/illustrators, and has been published in several different languages around the world. He also works as a composer and as a flamenco guitarist.
Over his career Matt has contributed artworks to many books, including 14 children’s picture books, and produced many paintings intended for private home or art gallery walls. He divides his time between painting, writing and composing music as well conducting workshops. He is also involved in wildlife rescue.
Matt lives in Perth, Western Australia and is a frequently in residence at the Fremantle Children’s Literature Centre. Matt is colour-blind.