Shout out to Sam Ward, of New Braunfels, Texas, for introducing us to what might be the most satisfying art form ever — pressure washing!
Sam is the artist behind the popular TikTok account @powerwashingart. Using a high-powered stream of water, he carefully blasts the grime off of dirty sidewalks to create two-toned illustrations. The result is surprisingly effective and has earned Sam tens of thousands of followers online.
It’s not an easy task spraying the perfect likeness of icons like David Bowie and Batman into dirty driveways and sidewalks. To create his masterpieces, Sam alternates through a wide range of nozzles and pressures to ensure the details are accurate — and that he doesn’t crack the concrete!
Power(wash)ing Through Boredom
From a young age, Sam always knew he wanted to be in a career that would allow him the freedom to create and be artistic. Even as a child, Sam had a passion for drawing and building with LEGO.
Fast forward to today and what started as a hobby to combat boredom during the COVID-19 pandemic, evolved into a unique art form that continues to draw eyes across social media.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! had to see Sam and his incredible art in person. Sam agreed, and we even got the chance to ask him a few questions of our own.
Speaking with Pressure Washing Artist Sam Ward
Ripley’s: How much water do you typically use when creating your art?
Sam: When I’m doing power washing art, I use about 30 to 40 gallons. Which is about as much as you use in the shower everyday.
Ripley’s: Do you clean the entire surface when making the art?
Sam: I don’t clean the rest of the surface, I just clean what I need to make the art.
Being creative is something I have to do to survive… I went out to start pressure washing and cleaning the driveway, the next thing you know I started drawing.
Ripley’s: What are some of the more memorable pressure washing pieces you have done?
Sam: Bob Ross, Tupac, Biggie, Batman. I really like to do animals. Most of the time it’s about the difficulty level — Can I do that with a pressure washer? Will that look good?
After seeing Sam’s work, Ripley’s believes the answer is a resounding “Yes — he can do that with a pressure washer!”
Level Up With Ripley’s Latest Book
Find this story and more inside Ripley’s latest book, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Level Up. The 20th installment of our annual series showcases all-new, all-true stories and features interactive elements you don’t want to miss! Available now on Amazon and at most major retailers.