Jay Robert Johnston was born on March 19th, 1954 in the ordinary city of Marion, Ohio. He was the third child for John and Barbara Johnston out of four children. Some say he got his gift of art from his father, however most would say he has gone far beyond his father's talent, respectfully. After graduating from Marion Harding High School, Jay studied art at the Columbus College of Art and Design. He lived the common life of a traditional, broke college student and graduated in 1977 with his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Since then, Jay has been keeping himself busy doing commission work for various clients, winning awards, and earning other achievements over the years.

Through local contests and shows, Jay has received again and again top honors including: 1st Place, People's Choice, and Best of Show. He became an award winning illustrator in 1986 when he received first place in the Ohio Associated Press Awards. He received this honor again in 1989.

Jay Johnston has a particular interest in American history, concentrating on the American Civil War and the American West. Through his art, Jay creates a scene of history as realistic as possible by carrying out research on every detail to ensure it's accuracy. His paintings of the West and Native Americans have caught the attention of clients as far as Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas, and the District Attorney's Office in Los Angeles.

Being a former high school football player, Jay has always enjoyed sports and even transfers this enjoyment to his artwork. He is able to create a snapshot, freeze a play in a moment of time, and create exciting scenes of football, baseball, boxing and much more. Of course, Jay enjoys doing Ohio State football paintings, many which have been bought by OSU alumni. Woody Hayes himself was able to view a painting Jay did of the coach and was quoted saying it was "one of the best he's ever seen" noting all the tiny details Jay had put into the painting. Jay's art has also been used in various fund raisers at the Ohio State University in Marion. Recently, Jay has had the opportunity to do a painting for John Papadakis, a former linebacker for the University of Southern California in the early 70's. His painting titled "Men of Troy" is of the former linebacker and his two sons who also played for USC. His painting now hangs in Papadakis' famous restaurant, Papadakis Taverna in Los Angeles. Mr. Papadakis has said it is "the central point of my restaurant".In addition to USC alumni, Jay has done work for the current coach of the USC football team, Pete Carroll, as well. Through this connection, Jay was able to do a painting for one of coach Carroll's charities, and sold at auction for $11,000. Another painting hangs in coach Carroll's office.

Jay is not only gifted in the area of history and sport scenes. He has also done portraits, animals, and some impressionistic work. Jay still resides in his hometown where he lives with his wife and daughter. There, everyday in his home studio, he continues to work and even further refine his already extraordinary and detailed artwork.