Jean-Sun Ahn

Seattle is known for its rainy weather and yes, it gets pretty dreary especially when the rain goes on for weeks sometimes months at a time.

Rainworks, based in Seattle, Washington, wanted to create a way to make rainy days happy days, or at least be able to make you smile a bit. “Rainworks” are positive messages and art that only appears when it rains. The founder Peregrin Church and his friend Xack Fisher got together to develop a superhydrophobic spray, also known as an ‘Invisible Spray’ which was designed specifically for creating these works of art. The superhydrophobic coating is essentially a water repellent that creates an invisible layer.

images appear when it's raining

You can find Rainworks all over the world, from Canada to Armenia and even Hong Kong. “We really like to see just what people come up with, what people make and how many people can get involved,” Xack Fisher explained. Initially the duo didn’t plan on making Rainworks into a business, but after a plethora of inquiries, they launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the necessary funds.

Rainworks found in the greater Seattle area

In March of 2016, Rainworks launched their product and ‘Invisible Spray’ was available for everyone around the world. Fisher says that anyone can create a Rainwork, and it’s super simple. First they create stencil from card stock, then place the stencil on an open concrete area, and then spray down the area of the stencil.

Here, the Invisible Spray is used to spray the stencil

While the artwork is invisible on a sunny day, when it starts to rain (or water is sprayed), the image will slowly appear.

Here, water is sprayed and the once invisible image slowly appears

“When we first started making rainworks, the thought didn’t cross our mind to create is as a product or to use this as a business, it was just another idea we had to make the world more interesting,” Fisher said. He said that in the beginning they were making rainworks in the middle of the night, hiding from cars because they didn’t know if it was allowed.

But once word spread, the city of Seattle gave them permission since the artwork wasn’t damaging and faded away naturally over time.

“What was once such a small thing it’s now just this whole worldwide collaboration and we never imagined it would grow to become what it is today,” Fisher exclaimed.