Jacob was born to Darrell and Judith Artist in Williamsville, New York. His father is "one hundred percent" African American, whereas his mother is of Polish descent. He has a younger sister who is also a fan of Glee.
He began dancing at the age of five at David DeMarie Dance Studios and is a trained jazz, hip hop, tap, and ballet competition dancer. When he turned eleven, he realized that dance was what he loved and wanted to do. During high school, he danced with the Infinity Dance Project, and participated in Chautauqua Institution's summer dance school. He began taking voice lessons through the Community Music School in Buffalo. He was named Teen Dancer of the Year at the American Dance Awards finals in 2007 and Senior Mr. Onstage of NY at Onstage NY finals in 2009.
Jacob graduated from Williamsville South in 2010. He auditioned for Juilliard and got in, but turned it down to be an actor. He feels as if he had gone to Juilliard, he would have been wondering what would have happened if he decided to pursue an acting career. His parents, grandparents and sister were supportive of his decision.
He began to get the "acting bug" when he was fifteen. He moved out to Los Angeles with his dad since he was only seventeen at the time. Jacob began his professional acting career in 2011 with an episode on Bucket and Skinner's Epic Adventures. Other television credits include Melissa & Joey, How to Rock, and the romance film Blue Lagoon: The Awakening. His manager got him an audition for Glee and he went in singing for the casting director. He has stated that prior to his audition he had never done a singing performance before. He received a callback where he had to sing and act; then a few days later, he found out he was going to test with Ryan Murphy and the FOX executives. He found out he got the part hours before it was announced.
He was cast in White Bird, where he will portray the love interest of Shailene Woodley's character.
He, Melissa Benoist, Dean Geyer, and Becca Tobin were chosen as ambassadors for Coca Cola's new product, P10 300 ml Coke Mismo. In June 2013, they were flown to Manila, Philippines to endorse the product by visiting different malls and meeting with fans.
In July 2013, he was chosen as one of the eleven Abercrombie & Fitch's Stars on the Rise.
In 2015, Artist joined the thriller series Quantico, playing the role of Brandon Fletcher, a FBI recruit at the training academy.
|2011||Bucket & Skinner's Epic Adventures||Jimmy||Episode: "Epic Babysitters"|
|2012||How to Rock||Dean Hollis||Episodes: "How to Rock a Prank"|
"How to Rock a Part-Time Job"
|Blue Lagoon: The Awakening||Stephen Sullivan||Television movie|
|Melissa & Joey||Cameron||Episode: "Wherefore Art Thou Lennox"|
|Glee||Jake Puckerman||Recurring (Season 4 & 6)|
Regular (Season 5)
|2016||American Horror Story: Roanoke||Todd Allan Connors||Episode: "Chapter 9"|
|2013||After the Dark||Parker||Formerly known as The Philosophers|
|2014||White Bird in a Blizzard||Oliver||Formerly known as White Bird|
Links and Social Networks
- Blake and Melissa are his best friends (confirmed in an interview) while he is good friends with Jenna Ushkowitz, Becca Tobin, Chord Overstreet and Kevin McHale.
- He is a fan of Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling.
- He is a fan of The Hunger Games.
- His favorite Disney movie is Hercules.
- His celebrity crush is Blake Lively.
- He was a fan of Glee before he auditioned.
- He auditioned for the show with Never Say Never by The Fray, a song his character sang in The New Rachel. He also auditioned with Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me by Elton John.
- He thinks the audition for Glee was harder than the audition for Juilliard.
- He would be nervous if he was ever approached and asked to rap for the show.
- Besides acting and dancing, he likes outdoorsy activities.
- His guilty pleasure is reality television, which began with Jersey Shore when he was in high school.
- He is friends with Shay Mitchell and Keegan Allen from Pretty Little Liars. This is because they share the same manager.
- Pretty Little Liars showrunner Marlene King is a big fan of him.
- Is currently the youngest cast member.
- One of his favorite Christmas movies is both the cartoon and Jim Carrey versions of How The Grinch Stole Christmas.
- He and Blake Jenner both starred in the television show Melissa & Joey. Both of their characters flirted with Lennox Scanlon.
- He never performed in front of people or told people he liked to sing prior to Glee.
- The character Jake was not originally written as a dancer, but it was incorporated after Jacob was cast.
- He would like to sing a song of Frank Ocean's on the show as long as he doesn't have to rap.
- Lea said his voice "blew [her] away" and is unlike any other she has heard.
- His parents do not want to be in the "public eye."
- He is good friends with Bonnie Wright.
- He is friends with Claire Holt, who worked with Shay Mitchell and Nina Dobrev, who is good friends with Jenna Ushkowitz.
- He loves blondes.
- He thinks Heather Morris is gorgeous.
- He is the sixth Glee guest-star to appear on American Horror Story, dubbed "Roanoke". He is proceed by Tanya Clarke (Mary Evans), Neil Patrick Harris (Bryan Ryan), [[Cheyenne Jackson (Dustin Goolsby), Matt Bomer (Cooper Anderson) and Darren Criss (Blaine Anderson).