Jeffrey Jakub grew up in a rough Newark, N.J. neighborhood. Early on he had a passion for art, watercolor especially, which continued through high school and at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Art. He had a career as a commercial illustrator, but also continued his fine art. His painting earned him the American Watercolor Society's signature membership as well as numerous other awards. While visiting Southern colleges with his wife and son, they stopped in Washington, saw a sign for Pamlico Plantation, and decided this was the place for them.