Sparkfly Studio
Jon "Sketch" Achelpohl


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Hi Gang!

Welcome to the site! Chances are you already know me and what I’m about but if not let’s get to know each other.

I am an illustrator and graphic designer who lives in Richmond Virginia. I mostly do work in comic books and posters that use that similar visual language but from time to time I do “Fine Art” and political art. I have a love of Pen and ink which is the medium that I work in the most but started working to use digital art creation or a mix of tradition ink drawing and digitally created art in 2018. Guess I can’t stay old school for ever. I grew up moving around central and southern IL (name a town not there I have probably lived some place near it) and found a passion for art while in junior high and high school. I cut my teeth as an artist in Chicago while attending the school of the Art Institute of Chicago studying drawing and comic books, and got involved in the street art and punk DIY scene. This aesthetic has stuck with me during my art career. While in school there I met my wife Sylvia (who has been my biggest advocate for years now). After Chicago we moved to Raleigh north Carolina and ran an art collective for a four years working across discipline with artist in collaboration (what happens if an actor and a painter work to create a piece of art together? What does that look like?) In 2012 I went to Graduate school in Baltimore and continued my in illustration. As of 2015 we have called Richmond home and I really love the “do it yourself boot strap” nature of this town. Sylvia and help run a yearly fundraiser event for safe harbor because “Art saves the world”.

My work has been shown in Chicago, Baltimore, the triangle region of North Carolina, and New York, and of course Richmond.

When I am not working on illustration or art stuff. I am typically doing community organizing work in my other life with the democratic party.

The studio is named after a personal mantra of mine “better to be the spark that starts the fire rather than the fly on the wall”.

Normally I can been found at my studio space with in Studio 23 down in the Scott’s Addition neighborhood, either working on a project or printing stuff.