Jan Rot worked an artist for several Dutch socialist magazines and organizations. Born in Zaandam as the son of reformed parents, Rot eventually broke with the church and got involved in the socialist movement. He joined the SDAP, the Dutch socialist party, in 1915. Thanks to an interest-free loan of the Verkade brothers (from the biscuit factory), he got a chance to study painting at the Kunstnijverheidsschool and the Rijksacademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. He specialized in drawings and woodcuts and took part in several group expositions. He began drawing for several magazines. From 1915, he cooperated on the Sunday paper of the social anarchist newspaper Volksdagblad. He wrote songs, worked as a caricaturist and advertising artist.
He began a collaboration with De Notenkraker in 1925, and his production for this satirical magazine earned him respect and assignments from several social-democratic organizations. Rot did posters, political drawings, photo edits and magazine headers. His work, which also included comics, mainly appeared in De Notenkraker (1925-1928, 1931/1932), De Fabrieksarbeider (1928-1940) and Vrijheid, Arbeid, Brood (1933-1938). He found his own style in his graphic stories on rhyme, which he made for De Notenkraker. He was active in local Amsterdam politics, and cooperated on the illegal press during World War II, as one of the founders of Paraat. The number of his assignments decreased after the War, and Rot remained active in politics until the 1960s.