A gifted artist, Jakobsen was raised in Michigan and perhaps inherited her talents from her mother who painted landscapes and portraits. Self-taught, Jakobsen didn't attend prestigious art schools. In fact, she started working in a factory making bumper stickers by day and painting by night. Robert Bishop, later to be the director of the Museum of American Folk Art in New York, found her and introduced her to the world.
Since 1976 Jakobsen has created over 600 oil paintings. Her work tours the U.S., Europe, and Japan and is part of the permanent collections of the American Folk Art Museum in New York, the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., and the New York Transit Museum. Jakobsen's attention to detail and her choice of vibrant colors give her landscapes, cityscapes, and seascapes a voice of their own, showing a positive, happy world. Images of her own family, her friends, and her cat give her work a friendly, personal touch.
Jakobsen wrote and illustrated her work Meet Me in the Magic Kingdom and My New York. With Johnny Appleseed written by Reive Lindbergh, Jakobsen illustrated the wide not tall pages in a way similar to Wanda Gag's Millions of Cats. In another book, This Land is Your Land, Jakobsen deviated at the end from her happy tone to one that reflected Woodie Guthrie's social criticism. Thus acting as a historian, she also devoted space to a biography of Guthrie. An artist, author, and illustrator, Jakobsen appeals to children and adults alike.
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