This week we caught up with photographer Jessica Portillo, a Capricorn. How does this California native find calm at the end of an intense day? With a dose of her three C's – cats, candles, and cartoons.
What are your big 3 – Sun, Moon, and Rising signs?
Capricorn Sun, Aries Moon, Scorpio Rising.
3 adjectives to describe you?
Loyal, determined, and a bit intense.
Where do you live / where are you from?
I'm originally from Southern California. I lived in Pasadena while working towards my undergrad, then moved to New York to pursue my Masters and I've been here ever since.
How, if at all, does astrology impact your daily life? Do you read your horoscope?
I use it a lot for personal reflection, my chart is pretty accurate to my personality and I can look to it for a better understanding of my reactions and tendencies. I’m definitely not the best communicator and sometimes astrology helps me put my feelings to words. Though one of the most valuable things astrology offers me is a better understanding of others, what they may be feeling or why they could be reacting a certain way. I use it more as a tool than a guide.
What do you do for work? Does your sign play into your career at all?
I’m mainly a freelance photographer, but my most fulfilling project has been Art Directing and photographing for Berriez, a size inclusive vintage shop that focuses on curve and plus, curated by my friend Emma Zack. I’m anywhere between a size 10 and 14 and had really struggled to find clothes that actually fit until we met. After shopping with her I knew that this was something I really wanted to be a part of, and we’ve been working together ever since. I think the Cap x Aries combo makes me very persistent, though admittedly not the most patient. Emma is a Taurus Sun, Gemini Moon, and Pisces rising, so we work really well together. We’re both very motivated, I’m definitely a pusher and she's more of a slow mover, but in that slow and steady Taurus way. She keeps me from wearing myself out and is good at getting me out of my comfort zone, where I try to offer some extra motivation and dependability.
I’m also a contributor at the Purseblog, which has been a great way for me to express my love of handbags. I’ve been a collector for over a decade now, and find it really exciting to share the knowledge and experience I've learned over the years. I’m very true to all my placements, most of which are in Capricorn, so a love of quality, history, and excellent craftsmanship are all a given, and easily expressed through my collection.
Do you gravitate towards certain signs as friends/collaborators/partners?
Not intentionally, but most of my closest friends tend to be other earth / fire signs. My roommate for the past few years, Simia, is a Virgo Moon, Capricorn Sun, and Cancer rising. She's far more romantic than I, very dreamy and artsy, but still very much a Virgo. We both value efficiency and productivity and work really hard, whether it be in our friendships, homes, or careers. She’s also great at challenging me and is one of the most dependable people I know. Together we geek out on vintage furniture, good food, and cat photos.
Weirdly, most of my romantic relationships have been with Water or Air Signs, I think it's because I’m attracted to people very different than myself. I’m very shy and anxious, so people who are generally more outgoing and spontaneous are very impressive to me. My funnest, most intimate relationship was with a Pisces, and my longest was with a Gemini. Go figure???
What's a typical morning look like for you? How does astrology play into that?
I usually check my daily/weekly horoscope in the morning while I’m in bed waking up. Rodney, one of my cats (a Cancer according to his paperwork), loves his morning snuggles which is honestly the best part of the day. After tending to the boys, I put a podcast on (usually start with The Daily by The New York Times) and get to work on either shooting, editing, designing, or writing – whatever needs to get done that day.
What does the work day look like for you? Does your zodiac sign help you out?
You bet, I have a planner that comes with a pre-made checklist under each day, as well as a monthly calendar in the front, and a lined notebook in the back. Additionally, I have a concept notebook, a random scribble notebook, a journaling planner, and plenty of sticky notes! This pleases my Capricorn sun and calms my anxious Aries moon.
DOOZ partnered with Actually Curious to get to know Jessica a little bit deeper. The following are a few questions from their thoughtful, question-based card game:
When do you feel most secure?
I think I’m most secure when I know a mutual effort is being put into something. Whether it be relationships or work, when I know others are trying it makes me feel as though I’m investing my energy in something that will be worthwhile.
What makes you unique?
I think the people I know, my family and friends. How we’ve influenced each other, created work with each other. That's very special.
What is guaranteed to bring you happiness?
To wrap up the Actually Curious portion of this interview, a featured Capricorn question: They say it takes 10.000 hours to become an expert. If you could instantly complete 10.000 hours of one skill, what would it be?
I think carpentry or ceramics. I’m not very good at more “hands on” things but love the idea and creating something myself.
What books are on your nightstand right now?
- A book of Jamie Hewlett's work, front and center.
- Designed in the USSR - a photo book documenting design under communism.
- Flyer Saucers ARE Real - a catalogue of the Jack Womack UFO library.
- Juergen Teller: Handbags - you get the idea!
- Please! Magazine - Bon Appetit edition gifted by a Taurus friend naturally
- I Can Treat You Better - Part Time feat. Ariel Pink
- I Feel a Song Coming On - Essendon Airport
- Wishbones - Jerkcurb
- It’s always you (with vocals) - Chet Baker
- Sunday - Sylvia Robinson
What's your one beauty secret?
Honestly, not to fuss with it too much. My skin is very sensitive and I'm naturally very oily and so I have a very minimal routine. But with that being said I love all the products Herbal Essentials has to offer.
How do you style the DOOZ bandana?
Mostly in my hair, but sometimes on my neck with a cheeky off the shoulder blouse.
How do you unwind at the end of the day?
Cats, candles, and cartoons!
What's your favorite thing to do on the weekends?
Pre-pandemic I used to love just eating and getting coffee with friends, if I got my way we'd thrift / vintage, especially for the house.
Any given day is incomplete without... ?
Time with my boys and a nice long shower.
What are your favorite DOOZ pieces? Which color(s) do you gravitate towards, even if they're not signs in your chart?
I’ve been really into burnt orange so I quite like the Leo Celeste bag, I also like the idea of the matching belt. Capricorn olive has also been a favorite.