The Bright Emporium (STS & Book Launches)

Matt Hunt’s Message in a Bottle

Matt Hunt studied fine art, but he hadn’t quite realised his talent for illustration until after his graduation. His debut author-illustrated picture book Message in a Bottle published with Scholastic in April of this year, and we are delighted to announce that he will be hosting a story time session at The Bright Emporium in May. Here’s a little bit more about Matt…

Is lion based on anyone you know?

I suppose there a little bit of me in Lion if I’m honest. We both play the guitar, and think we probably know best, but really don’t!


What gave you the idea for Message in a Bottle?

It began with an illustration of the Lion character sat on a dock playing his guitar, and he inspired the story of wanting to get away from the daily grind and escape away to a desert island somewhere (it’s probably how I was feeling at the time!)

lion rough3

Lion 2

Did you study illustration?

I actually studied fine art. When I graduated from Birmingham City University my passion for picture books and children’s illustration just grew and grew.


Have you always wanted to illustrate picture books?

It never occurred to me that it was something I wanted to do before I graduated. I always pictured myself having my paintings hanging in a gallery — that may still happen one day, but for now I’m quite happy!

Who or what inspired/inspires you?

It really can be anything and everything. There are so many aspect of everyday life that creates great characters and stories. Family, friends, my cats, random people I meet, dreams, film and books.


Favourite picture book? (from childhood or current)

I have fond memories of reading Gorilla by Anthony Browne when I was at primary school. I’m also a big Raymond Briggs fan, but my favourite current books are probably the Mr. Peek series by Kevin Waldron.

Matt books

Future plans?

Just to carry on doing what I’m doing! Hopefully I get the chance to write some more, create some interesting and fun characters, and make the most of any opportunities that come my way.

With big thanks to Matt!

Follow Matt on Twitter and Instagram

And if you’d like to get in touch, you can do so via his agent, Arabella Stein here.

Meet Matt at Storytime Sunday!
Matt will be at The Bright Emporium on Sunday 7th May!
Find out more, and book your place HERE!

Matt Hunt_V2