About Me

Hi. My name is Jason Clay (duh!) and this is my website. I'm just a guy making his way through this wonderful thing we call life. I grew up in a suburb east of Atlanta, GA called Snellville, where I played army in the woods and played lots of Nintendo. In high school I was very active in marching band and even became the head band nerd (also known as drum major) my senior year. I also took a few art classes my senior year that I really enjoyed. I actually tried to make art while all the stoners were busy making bongs out of clay.

My interest in art took me to Valdosta State University, a small (but growing rapidly) university in south Georgia, where I majored in art. I took all kinds of classes in drawing, painting, ceramics (Nobody made bongs as far as I know. We were a serious lot in college), printmaking, 3-D animation and graphic design. It was the latter field that I threw myself at like an unrelenting Victorian locomotive with a steam over-pressurization problem. I graduated with honors on a balmy, humid, south-Georgian afternoon in June of 2000.

After college, a job landed in my lap and I moved to New Jersey to design point of purchase (POP) displays for the ceramic tile industry. The job required more engineering expertise that I had. That combined with the complete lack of sense of humor of most New Jerseyans, convinced me to move back to the South where people are pleasant and mostly friendly.

Once I settled back in Atlanta, I decided to pursue the field that I originally wanted to be in, graphic design. I started off as a lowly production intern at what was then called Max Productions, where I learned all kinds of stuff. A few months later I moved on up to a full-time graphic design position at Graphic Works of Atlanta, which, oddly enough, was just across the street from Max Productions.

Fast forward a few years and I am ready for a change, but change is scary so I stayed put for a while. I did some great design work while I worked there, which you can view at my portfolio site; www.motioncommotion.com.

Me and Teri at the Alabaster Sphinx in Memphis, Egypt
Teri and Me at the Alabaster Sphinx in Memphis, Egypt.

I met a lovely young woman who was a student at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA. She taught me all kinds of things about justice and truth and all this stuff that made my job seem even less important. We dated for some time before she came to me with this idea about doing international mission work through the Young Adult Volunteer program of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). We went through a kind of selection process where it was determined we should go to Cairo, Egypt (which was fine by me because of all the nations available, that's where I wanted to go most). A few months later I had turned in my resignation letter and we were on our way.

Initially I worked with the Synod of the Nile, which is the governing body of the Presbyterian Church in Egypt (what they call The Evangelcal Presbyterian Church in Egypt), where I helped to design a book covering the 150-year history of the church. It was in Arabic, which is a very interesting language to work with in Microsoft Word since it reads from right to left. I also devised a digital archiving system to digitally preserve old documents dating back to the beginning of the church.

Me at the Giza Pyramids
Me at the Giza Pyramids.

After I wrapped up my time at The Synod, I spent time at The Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo (ETSC) where I overhauled the website and designed newsletters and other printed items. I taught an Egyptian office worker how to use the publishing programs, which I hope are still in use.

I also taught English to very bright schoolchildren at the Coptic Cathedral in downtown Cairo.

Me and my Coptic Orthodox Students

Me with my English students at the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in downtown Cairo.

While I lived in Egypt I was fortunate enough to tour around the region. At Christmastime of 2005 our group of volunteers traveled to Bethlehem in Palestine, where we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and saw the birthplace of Jesus at The Church of the Holy Nativity. The following week we stayed in Jerusalem and toured many traditional relisious sites including The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which was built on the site of Jesus' crusifixion and burial, the Western Wall, which is all that is left of the ancient Soloman's Temple, and the Dome of the Rock, which is a mosque built on the site where Abraham nearly sacrificed Isaac. Later I had the opportunity to travel to Rome and Florence, Italy, where I visited the Vatican and the Vatican museums. My entire year abroad was like walking through the pages of my art history textbook.

Me at the site of Jesus' birth in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem
Me at the site of Jesus's birth.

When I returned from Egypt in July of 2006, I realized that my talents as a graphic designer could be of great use to churches and non-profit organizations even in America. In May of 2008 I began working at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in the Brookhaven Neighborhood of Atlanta, GA a Administrator of Communications. I produce the weekly bulletins, monthly newsletters, various yearly publications and recently redesigned and updated the website.

Yours in Christ,
Jason Clay