We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Cecilia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
It is not in my mindset to ever give up. There may be months that go by that I don’t do any photoshoots like right now during this quarantine. As soon as it’s safe to shoot again I will be back at it. I have certain family members who don’t support me and will try to get me to quit. That’s when you need to just do you and do what feels right. I plan on modeling until I’m at least 90 years old.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think what sets me apart from other plus size models is my variety and range of facial expressions that I give to each image I create. I’m very excited to be in my first international online exhibit in Berlin Germany. One of my portraits was selected from a very hardworking creative individual by the name of Cheryl Dunn. We have had numerous publications together but this to me is more exciting. It seems to have all started around 4 years ago when I competed in my first pinup pageant. It was the 7th annual Rockabilly Royale in Flagstaff Arizona.I competed against 25 gorgeous girls and made a ton of new friends. I ending up placing 2nd runner up in my first pageant. I was definitely ecstatic. After that happened I started getting requests from photographers wanting to shoot with me. I then joined many model groups on Facebook. I think I was doing photo shoots every couple of months.It wasn’t until I joined Women Networking in Photography Phoenix Photographers, Models, HMUAs that I started to get more TFP work. I’m very thankful to the founder Amanda Deleon and all the wonderful photographers, models and hair and makeup artists I have befriended. Soon after I was shooting with someone every weekend and was getting published in numerous magazines. It has never been an easy road to get where I am today. When I first started out and was only doing photoshoots every couple of months it was usually the same photographers. Unfortunately not all photographers will give you the time of day if you are plus size. I’m very thankful for the Woman’s group and breaking those boundaries. I have learned to never give up no matter what obstacles come my way. I have also come to realize that every curve on my body is glorious and can be turned into Art. My goal is to continue on this path and to encourage girls and women of all ages to love every single thing about them including ever curve, roll, or dimple. God made you different for a reason.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my best friend was coming down to visit our first stop would be Chino Bandito 15414 N 19th ave to dine in some Mexican Chineses fusion. My favorite is the orange chicken quesadilla. We would then go to Ross and Big-lots on 230 East Bell because that is where we always shopped over 9 years ago. I would need to keep that ritual alive. I would take her to somewhere new which is Platos Closet 7530 W Bell to shop for some shoes and purses. It’s my favorite consignment store.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to recognize a good friend and great photographer Cheryl Dunn. When I was first getting into modeling it was this lovely lady who photographed plus sized models. Both of us have grown in both our modeling in photography over the years. She has seen me when I wasn’t doing my best in the modeling game. She had a nice talk with me and I’ve never fallen to that level again. She recently had a picture of me published online in a exhibit in Germany. It’s pretty exciting to see how much we have both excelled. I definitely love this lady and consider her a true friend.
Cheryl Dunn, Cristina Garza,Danielle Skinner,Ryan Marsh, Brandon B Lo Fields, Emily Nagy, Kristin Arcurio, Luna Lee, Michael Aguirre and Alexandria Rios.