Born in Edmonton, Jay graduated from University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Commerce with Distinction, then spent several years as a professional soccer player in Edmonton and Montreal before working as an entrepreneur in both Canada and the United States.
Jay began painting in 2000. While he remains primarily self-taught, he has been strongly influenced by his apprenticeships with Gideon Flitt (2000-03) and Odd Nerdrum (2006). Since 2002, he has been teaching life drawing, perspective, composition, and art history at Vancouver Film School, while also teaching painting privately since 2003. Jay is currently staging independent lectures on the arts and completing a book on perspective and composition. He is also illustrating and writing a storybook.
He is a partner at Red Hand Design, a Vancouver design company that specializes in home staging, private commissions, murals, production design, and graphic design, and he also recently worked as a Conceptual Designer on the award-winning, Vancouver-shot web series, Riese.