‘It's an adventure that's how I see it.’
Do you remember those blissful childhood days where you dreamt of romance and day-dreamed about adventure? When you fantasized about the future and all the wonderous possibilities it could hold?
We chat teen romance and travel with Dillon Westbrock at Storm Model Management. From the not so small beginnings as a hopeless romantic to the mature, confident boy he is today. At only 16 it is crazy that Dillon is already out travelling the world, discovering new cities and meeting new people. The Storm Models boy considers himself a daydreamer and lets you into his story as he paths out his present and future.
I know you already told us about your hair, but do you want to tell us again for the interview since it's pretty cool?
Definitely, I get my hair from my mum's side of the family. Her grandfather is the one that I've met and his hair is exactly like mine. They are both caucasian and I’ve seen pictures of my great, great, great grandfather and his hair is just as curly as well and he looks exactly like me.
Have you always liked it?
I liked the attention that I got when I was really, really young, but then as I started letting it grow out I actually had to start managing it and combing it all out and doing all that, so that was a hassle, but it got my scalp really tough and it got me into a routine I guess. Then around 8th grade I kinda just wanted to be known for who I was and so I shaved it all off.
Instant Analogue by Cecilie Harris. Special thanks to IMPOSSIBLE.
Did you have nicknames that were linked to your hair?
Not really actually, believe it or not. I had Napoleon Dynamite. You might not have seen it, it's an American film. Other than that I haven't really had any nicknames.
Are you still in school?
Yeah I am, I'm only 16.
How is travelling the world at 16?
It's an adventure, definitely! That's how I think of it. I think of London as just another place in the world.
Do you like it here?
Yeah, I like it here a lot. I like it here a lot more than LA that's for sure. LA is just ridiculous, too many people are driving there.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I sing, play guitar and act. I am in theatre and I like hanging out with my friends. That's pretty much it I guess. I live in a really small town, so there's not that much to do. There's only like 15,000 people in my town. If I'm really bored I'll just jog across town.
Where is your town?
It's right above the Northern border of California. It's called Medford, and is a really small town in Oregon.
What's the most different thing about being here?
The transit. The tubes. The way to get around it's very different. Yesterday when I first started travelling around I was like wow, I am toast! There is no way I am figuring this out on my own, but I'm a sink-or-swim kind of guy. So with a few screenshots later, I had figured it out.
Doing things on your own makes you feel empowered right?
Yeah definitely, but then again it was kind of lonely travelling around all by myself. I'd say the most difficult thing about being away from home is not being able to talk to people regularly.
Are you an emotional kind of guy?
More so when I was younger, I grew up with my parents telling me stories of how they fell in love - so it's always something I wanted badly. At 12/13 you are just a kid, but I wanted a girlfriend and soon found my first love. We broke up last year, after dating for 3 and a half years. As the time has passed I've found myself romantiscising again. The first song I wrote was for her, I guess I was just that kind of kid. My mum taught me manners and really bought me out of my shell.
I guess that is good for modelling, that you don't mind people prodding you!
Yeah definitely! Oh my gosh yes. I don't know if I could have done it without all the attention that I got when I was younger. And you know it wasn't like constant or prolonged attention. I'd be in the grocery store and someone would walk up to me and be like ‘oh you have super cool hair can I touch it?’ ‘yeah of course!’ then they would talk to me and then talk to my mum and it was just those little interactions. So yeah my mum raised me pretty well and so did my dad of course.
You sound like you're close to your mum?
That's how it has been lately, as my parents split up about two years ago. I didn't think it would happen, but they both needed their own different directions. I lived in a trailer with my mum and sister, and in those situations you become really close. One thing my dad does do though, is give me great advice.
I'm really interested in this little romantic kid. In what ways were you romantic growing up?
My father is a daydreamer, and I found myself daydreaming a lot too growing up. I think I am similar to him in a lot of ways. I just daydreamed about certain situations or certain dates or you know crazy things like that. I'm very close with my school principle and I got him to open up the gym at night for me so I could surprise my girlfriend. I filled the hall with candles. I was only 14, so this was like the coolest thing that I did for my girlfriend. I got candles lining all the way into the centre of the gym and then I had a candle lit dinner that my buddy set up.
That is adorable. It sounds like something out of a movie!
But around that time I was in theatre and most of the plays that I was doing were about romance and stuff. I just wanted someone to love, you know.
What were your favourite plays to do?
I didn't do anything mainstream really. They were all originals from the high school or a person who graduated from the high school in my home town. When I was younger I did The Wizard of Oz, I was the scarecrow. I also did Princess and the Pea, Alice in Wonderland.
How did you find breaking up?
It's still like a continuous thing I guess. If I were to give my past Dillon advice I would have said when you break up, keep it like that or you might not be able to let go properly.
Your very articulate and mature.
Could you maybe give us some romantic tips?
See that's where the conflicting teenage boy now and a younger romantic boy super conflict. I've been going at a whole different strategy this time. Has this turned into who am I? What have I become?
Well you're still 16, so you have plenty of time to figure this love thing out.
Yeah definitely. Hopefully by my senior year I'll have things figured out. I definitely have realised that especially where I live I’d like to think I’m a more mature person at my school and in my town, but with my ex-girlfriend its like she gets me and I get her. Our thing that we say is ‘you know the waters’. I’ll say something and then I’ll be worried that she will think weirdly of me and she will say ‘you know the waters. Don't even worry about it’ and I'm like, sweet.
What kind of ways do you express yourself?
I draw and like I said I sing. I play guitar sometimes, but with guitar it's kind of on and off. When I first started playing guitar my fingers weren’t long enough to efficiently play. I sometimes get withdrawals, and feel like I just have to play. It's mostly singing and drawing that I love the most. Mostly what I draw is influenced by people around me. I like the idea that I can see something in my head and just create it, you know.
Words by Katy Thomas.