Hi Reddit! I'm Peregrine Church, and I love making the world a more interesting place. I created Rainworks, which are invisible pieces of street art that only appear when they are wet. Here's an example!

I began creating rainworks in Seattle about a year and a half ago, to give people a reason to look forward to our rainy days. Last April the project went viral, which was pretty trippy. Countless people messaged me wanting to create their own rainworks, and I want to make that possible. So now, after much preparation, my team and I have created a Kickstarter campaign! Our backers can get their own bottle of Rainworks Invisible Spray, which is our superhydrophobic coating formulated specifically for creating rainworks.

I'll be in my office for the next several hours, answering questions and making upvote gifs. Ask Me Anything!

Proof: http://imgur.com/4xhmwzO

Behind-the-scenes of making the Snoo Rainwork (from the example above)

For your future use, a compilation of the upvote-gifs made for this thread so far:

Some backstory on Rainworks' rise to virality, if you're interested: Last April, a video about Rainworks went viral; gaining over 15 million views between uploads on Youtube and Facebook. Since then, Rainworks have been on the front page of Reddit several times. They also got on Buzzfeed, Popular Science, and Huffington Post. They even got shared by a few celebrities, including Nicki Minaj, Ashton Kutcher, and George Takei!

Comments: 58 • Responses: 24  • Date: 

zoysiamo13 karma

Hi Peregrine! What kind of Rainwork do you hope people will create? Have you heard any great ideas from your Kickstarter backers?

icreatenovelty10 karma

Hi zoyasiamo! I hope people create funny, inspiring, interactive, and visually interesting rainworks. That's the kind we try to create! Basically, anything that would make someone walking through a rainy day smile!

We honestly can't wait to see what people make. People are so creative!

Frajer12 karma

How long does a rainworks piece typically last?

icreatenovelty23 karma

It depends! 2-4 months is typical, but we've had some last almost a year. The duration depends on the type of concrete it's on, how clean that concrete is, and the amount of foot traffic it has to endure.

Edit: I also want you to have this

tpv0rtex12 karma

How should we go about figuring out whether we need to secure permissions/permits/whatever to do this on a public sidewalk?

icreatenovelty17 karma

Making sure it's legal is a great idea! In Seattle, because a rainwork temporary, it falls under the same category as chalk art, which is legal on public sidewalks (as long as it doesn't advertise). I learned this from a representative of the Seattle Department of Transportation. I recommend contacting your local Department of Transportation and seeing what their policies are.

Thanks for the question! I plucked an upvote out of the air for you!

QT77710 karma

I think that what you are doing is so dope. Are you looking to sell Rainworks Invisible Spray in stores at some point? And what is your favorite part of Seattle?

icreatenovelty7 karma

Thank you, kind Reddit user! Have an upvote.

I can imagine it being sold in arts & crafts in the future, like Michael's or Joann's. We'll see!

My favorite part of Seattle is Westlake Park in the summer, because the park staff set up foosball, chess, and ping-pong tables, and you can just challenge random strangers to games in the park. It's an awesome way to connect with people you don't know.

Boating_Enthusiast9 karma

Hi! Your product sounds amazing and street art is very big in some cities here in California, but I did have one question about it. What is rain, and where can I buy some?

icreatenovelty6 karma

I wish I could help you, my West-coast friend. I'd recommend starting your search here.

mahuirong9 karma

Hey Perry! I'm sitting on your office couch right now! :P What are some of your favorite ways to pass the time while waiting for your Rainworks to dry?

icreatenovelty10 karma

Haha yes, I see you there. I usually talk to whoever's helping me, sometimes I practice beatboxing or wave at the people who are watching from a distance. Here, I'll just give you an upvote in person.

AdseyV9 karma

When people tell you that they are going to rain on your parade do you high 5 them?

icreatenovelty7 karma

Made me laugh. If someone ever says that to me, I will! Have a high-upvote!

amayo888 karma

So what is your main goal with rainworks? Spread happiness?

icreatenovelty3 karma

Exactly. I love thinking of novel, unexpected ways to brighten people's days.

For my 20th birthday I printed out a bunch of these flyers (link contains a zipped file of PDFs) and had my friends distribute them all over our college campus. If you want, you're welcome to download them and use them to make your friends/co-workers laugh!

aeviltrix8 karma

What is the secret to preventing the bleeding around the edges of the stencils? I have the water-based Nanex and noticed that you use the solvent-based Nanex and I am wondering if that's the problem, or if I need a more-misty sprayer to apply the solution with. Thanks for creating this art form as it's so exciting and fun!

icreatenovelty7 karma

Good question. We encountered that difficulty when we were first working on our technique. The secret is to spray very lightly, in a fine mist, from a distance of 8-12 inches, and to sweep your hand back and forth as you squeeze the trigger. The second the ground darkens from the spray hitting it, stop spraying that area. Spraying too much causes it to spread under the edges.

We'll be including detailed instructions on that when we release our tutorial. We've also found that the ideal stencils are slightly absorbent, like poster mounting board, so they hold onto the spray that hits the stencil, instead of letting it run off the edge. (If you're wondering, the type of stencils we're including in the kickstarter rewards are the correct type of material)

Glad you like rainworks! When you make something, let us know and we'll put it on the official Rainworks Map with you credited as the creator!

ngray278 karma

What's good, Perry! Glad to see you're putting your enthusiasm to work. (And my foot stencil design, too!) We're proud of you! Got a reddit account just for the occasion. Can you guess who I am? Have fun out there, redditor.

icreatenovelty5 karma

Oh hey, Natalie! Thanks for your support. You're right, that foot stencil is based off the one you created at our first stencil-making party! (Want royalties? :P) I hope one day you'll get to see them walking across Seattle somewhere!

cuntpieceofshit6 karma

I have an idea that's kind of similar ("make something cool happen when it rains") but more physical, like little mini-watermills + rube goldberg contraptions that animate with rain power. I'm lazy as fuck though. Want to take my idea?

icreatenovelty3 karma

I love all weather-activated art. Sure, send it over! I hang out with a bunch of makers and we can make it happen. Seriously.

Mikabe6 karma

What do you tell someone who wants to do Rainworks with a publicity angle or to promote their own personal agenda?

icreatenovelty10 karma

Our goal, over anything, is to give people a reason to smile. Seeing advertisements pop up on a rainy day wouldn't make me smile, so we decline all commission requests for advertising and promotion. No hashtags, promotions, or logos (we did make the rainworks logo once, but it was somewhere where people don't walk, and we didn't put its location on the map.) We don't even put #rainworks next to the pieces we create, cause we want them to be there just for the sake of being there.

Mikabe7 karma

Great response! Thank you!

icreatenovelty2 karma

lexxasaurus4 karma

I visit Seattle at least once every year and noticed you have a Rainworks map. I'd love to try and find Rainworks pieces when I'm in the area next spring, but since they aren't permanent... do you redo the pieces you guys have created? Or do you just take them off the map once they've worn away?

icreatenovelty3 karma

Good question. We keep the map updated, adding new ones as we create them and removing ones when they've faded too much. We often redo rainworks we've made before, but we usually change the location to share the love.

elijahpijah1233 karma

How difficult is it?

icreatenovelty3 karma

Not very! Once you get the basic spraying technique down (i.e. spray lightly), it's pretty straightforward. You just need to lay down the stencil, block any wind with cardboard, and spray light two coats, five minutes apart. We'll be releasing a tutorial in the coming weeks with every step explained in detail. You can sign up here if you want to be notified when it comes out.

Thanks for your question! Pick a card.

angryrestingface3 karma

Falcon? I think that was your camp name. I had a feeling you'd end up doing something really cool. Have any plans to bring this to camp?

icreatenovelty3 karma

Hey thanks camp-person! Cheshire actually contacted me about potentially doing a rainworks workshop in the coming year. So it could happen!

Mikabe3 karma

The spray you're developing .. is it a collaboration with the Belgian company?

icreatenovelty3 karma

Yup! They've helped us create a formula customized for making vivid, durable rainworks.

-__o3 karma

Love the idea, I've done a bit of this with some clear sealant gloss spray paint, and as far as I can tell it does the same thing. My question is what makes your product different/better than this thing that is already out there?

icreatenovelty2 karma

Thanks for your question! Unlike the gloss spray paint method and other superhydrophobic coatings, our product is 100% invisible. When the surface is dry, you can't see or feel the slightest difference between the treated and untreated surface. There's not even a sheen that would give away its location, as there is when using clear spray paint.

tomgroshans3 karma

How are you making the stencils? Is it something anyone can do or are you going to provide stencils with the spray?

icreatenovelty3 karma

Anyone can do it! We started by taking sheets of cardboard, drawing on them, then cutting it out with a box cutter.

Now we've graduated to a desktop cutting plotter (the Silhouette Cameo) which makes it a lot faster. Sometimes we also use a laser cutter at the Sodo Makerspace in Seattle. And sometimes we still do it by hand, with a box cutter and cardboard!

We'll be making a tutorial in the coming weeks showing a variety of ways to make stencils, so anyone with any level of resources can do it.

FireShine9112 karma

Hi. I just shared your awesome FaceBook Video. I was wondering if this stuff could be added to another item, such as paint, to make something RainProff, too?

icreatenovelty3 karma

Thank you for sharing the facebook video! That really helps the Kickstarter along. Rainworks Invisible Spray is designed to use on absorbent surfaces, so anything that's painted won't work very well. Wood, concrete, leather, and fabric all work, though our formula is best suited for the first two.

Thanks for your question!

FireShine9112 karma

im really new to this site. Are you online ATM? and if so, how long does it take to answer?

icreatenovelty3 karma

I was answering most of the questions yesterday. I just now realized that a bunch of new ones had popped up.

DeltaUltra2 karma

Can doing this at Starbucks parking lot entrances with a stencil that says, "are keeping your money local?" be legal?

icreatenovelty4 karma

There's already enough conflict and drama in the world. We try to keep things positive.

WesStrikesBack2 karma

Ever considered taking 'Took' as your middle name. Best...name...ever...

And are you prone to wandering..?

icreatenovelty2 karma

Hahaha, my mind wanders all the time.

timetospeakY2 karma


Are you hiring?!

icreatenovelty4 karma

Thanks, you're awesome too! Have an upvote

We're not hiring at the moment, as we're in full startup mode. But you can create your own with this stuff and we'll put your creations on our map with you credited as the creator! If you make awesome rainworks and we need to hire on a new person, we might reach out to you. :D