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My name is Matthew Austin and I’ve been doing this kind of work for about 10 years.

For the long story, you can buy my book.

The short story is that I first started in my Chicago apartment in 2011, learning from YouTube and making book projects for close friends—a night-and-weekend practice that myself, my brother, and a group of friends later evolved into a non-profit called The Chicago Perch (2012–2015), which funded and published 18 editions and $47,000 in payouts to artists.

This project later evolved into a project called Candor Arts (2015–2021) which I started in my spare bedroom in Los Angeles, but then moved back to Chicago, and operated as a team of four out of three different studios for 5 years, and we closed the last studio down a year into the pandemic. This project funded and published 52 editions and around $300,000 in payouts to artists.

Based in Los Angeles, For the Birds Trapped in Airports (2022–?) is the next iteration of these studio projects.


My name is Kiki and I am the studio administrator. I manage all things financial and plan our production schedule—I love a good spreadsheet.

I also provide bindery support. This means aiding in bindery tasks such as folding pages, scoring covers, sewing books, and running our DB-290 perfect binder (whose full name is Dale Burnhardt, Jr.)

*Full Disclosure: I am Matthew’s spouse <3


I’m EJ. Much of what I know, I have learned from: Estelle Thompson, Karen Thompson, Ernest Hill Jr., Margaret Nomentana, Joan Giroux, Adam Brooks and Mat Wilson (Industry of the Ordinary), Andrea Fraser, Mario Ybarra Jr., Na Mira, Matt Austin, Young Chung, Adam Feldmeth, Jordan Casteel, TLC, Lauryn Hill, and Augie Grahn. I am forever indebted to these educators and I thank them endlessly.


My name is Joann Haeun Ahn. In this lifetime I have been a printmaker, cultural worker, and community organizer. I carry experience building all-abilities arts programming + advocating for accessibility within the arts.
At For the Birds Trapped in Airports, I use my hands and listen into the sounds of the studio.


My name is Toby Meyer, and I am part of the studio bindery team. I have worked with books and with paper in many capacities, and find myself continually drawn to them and the communities they create.

I am a collector of many things, at the moment primarily rocks (although I will pick pretty much anything up and put it in my pocket). Something I have been thinking about a lot lately is how far rocks move, and how they get to where they are. In my next project, I am going to attach small GPS trackers to rocks on the shore of the ocean and of the lake and at the bodies of water where my friends live, and to look at their motion. I am curious, do they move with the tides also? Do they return to the same spot? How do they change?


Hello, I'm Jessica and I’m delighted to be a part of the team at For the Birds Trapped in Airports. I first learned bookbinding from Mark Pollei at Brigham Young University and have since been adept at making folios, books, and zines for my own practice. Once, I even went to Tonga to teach a bookbinding workshop in exchange for learning to make tapa cloth. The first time I felt interested in doing this for the rest of my life was in Jen Hofer’s Small Press class at CalArts. I’m grateful for books as objects and as bundles of communication and know that they’ll always be functional and current. This post is my initiation into the world of using this skillset to make some income! It’s exciting for me to have a chance to hone this special craft and learn from Matt and Kiki and everyone else at FTBTIA. Cheers!

Thank you for visiting.

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© For the Birds Trapped in Airports 2024