History of Static Medium.

When their friend and artist Audrey Kawasaki began receiving an overwhelming number of requests for prints but had no outlet to produce them, Matt and Leah saw a niche that needed to be filled. With Leah's ad agency background in sales and management and Matt's experience in prepress and graphic design, the two already had the collective expertise necessary to create a successful fine art printing company. Together with over 15 years combined working in corporate print environments, Matt and Leah founded Static Medium in 2006.

The first print release with Audrey, "Lydia" seen here, was produced with one 24” Epson printer in the dining room of their one-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles.

In 2007, after multiple editions of Audrey's prints sold out in less than a minute, SM looked for an equitable way to offer collectors a low priced, signed, limited edition print. A poll on Livejournal led to the idea of a 1-hour timed sale. The first one was “Mizuame," which ended up being an edition of 790. This timed-limited sale was one of the first of its kind to take place in the modern digital world.

Audrey continued to release yearly timed sales along with instant sell-out smaller run limited editions. The 1-hour timed-sales continued in popularity and grew each year. The edition to the left is titled "Two Sisters" and was one of the last 1-hour timed releases, in 2008, which was an edition of 1080. When overseas collectors complained about setting alarms in the middle of the night to purchase the prints, Audrey moved to longer timed sales to accommodate more waking hours in the various time zones around the world. 

Between 2006-2012, Static moved studio spaces multiple times to upgrade capabilities. The first move was to add high resolution digital photography capabilities so paintings could be captured and proofed at the same time. The next studio move allowed them to separate live and work areas. By the time Static Medium moved to the MacArthur park area, they were able to add more printers and space, and the company finally achieved large-scale-production capability. Since Static wasn't yet open to the public, there were only a few (highly esteemed) clients at the time, many of whom are still our favorite clients today. 

For the first 3 years of Static Medium, Matt was the sole physical employee. Leah worked 50-hour weeks (plus a 10-hour weekly commute!) at an ad agency by day, and at night did customer service and project management for Audrey and SM. When 2009 ended with so many prints in the works, she happily quit corporate life to work full time for the company she co-founded.

Without the help of advertising or social media, Static continued to grow exponentially. As the company thrived, more staff was hired from within our community of friends and by word of mouth. In 2012, the two first full-time employees were hired and operations were moved to a proper business location, 4200 sq/ft near MacArthur Park. This expansion finally allowed Static to begin accepting outside clients, and soon the company grew profitable. 

Through our friend, and prolific artist, Mike Mitchell, we established an ongoing relationship with Mondo. In 2013, Static became a licensed vendor for Disney, bringing us many exciting projects including Marvel and other entertainment franchises. In 2015, Static was chosen as The Broad Museum’s printer of preference for their Grand Opening through their current gift shop offerings. We are humbled and grateful by these partnerships that have brought many iconic names in art history as well as major contemporary artists through our studio.

In 2013, after a huge tornado in Oklahoma (both founders’ home state), the Made For Moore project was established and raised nearly $25k for Habitat for Humanity and the Humane Society through the auction of prints and donated artworks. From there, the “20 for Change” campaign was started and over the years thousands of dollars have been raised for causes dear to our artist’s heart and the company’s mission. Giving back either through direct donations or by lowering our prices for nonprofits is a major tenet of Static Medium’s philosophy.

In 2017, the company's status changed from a Partnership to a California S-Corp under the name Static Medium Print & Photography. In 2018, SM expanded to the current 5200 sq/ft print and photography studio on Anderson Street in Boyle Heights (DTLA). In 2023 an adjacent 3600 sq/ft space dedicated to fine art and collectible shipping and fulfillment was added and in December that year another 5000 sq/ft nextdoor was leased for new equipment, bringing our total to 13,800 sq/ft. As of June 2023, including Matt and Leah there are currently ten full time employees and an additional ten part-timers.