The One About The Surfer Dude

29 July 2014

We recently had the delight of chatting with James Phillips, aka Jack - the happy-go-lucky Aussie, who gave insights into his exciting new journey of modelling. He chatted to us about his life in Australia, and his recent bump into a group of bad boy dolphins. His gorgeous looks and live-in-the-moment attitude landed him a contract with Storm Models and the chance to visit Europe for the first time in his life.

From beaches to buses, a small town in Autralia to the big city, James describes his unpremeditated adjustment to city life. James' chatty and easy going personality left us with the feeling that this young model has many exciting adventures ahead.

Introduce yourself, James.
I am James Phillips, but I go by Jack more often. James is sort of the more official name I go by. I am 21 years old and with Storm Management here in London, but I hooked up with them through London Management over in Australia who are my mother agency. They've got good ties because a guy that used be with Storm went out to Australia and set up an agency out there. So yeah that's the basic info, and they sort of lined me up with some work out here, so its been all good since day one. I'm going with the flow at the moment.

What kind of things do to have a good time?
Here in London I haven't really done too much other than focus on work, but back in Australia in Newcastle where I live there are more beaches per square kilometre then any other city on the planet, so I spend a lot of time in the water back home either surfing and chilling out at the beach. It's a pretty small sort of place, so anything where I can be spending time with good friends and stuff like that is great. Whether it's surfing or just chilling out and going to festivals or something like that, those are sort of my main things I do at home.

Instant Analogue by Cecilie Harris. Special thanks to Impossible.

How were you scouted?
I was scouted just on the corner of a street. I was doing a face to face fund-raising thing for a surfing foundation in Australia and this photographer just happened to walk past, and there was a model agency nearby that he was friendly with. He told them that he'd just seen a bloke that might be worth picking up and they came down and hit us up about it. At first I was pretty bemused and didn't really know what to make of it, but after a little chat with them it all sounded pretty good and I went along with it and yeah here I am! So I'm pretty happy with how it has all gone so far, its all good experience.

Do you enjoy it?
So far just the people I've met has been really cool. I moved into a flat with a bunch of other models that has been really good fun to hang around with. I thought coming over here not knowing anyone would be really difficult, finding things to do etc, but I've been put with a good bunch of people! So other than that it's just an exciting thing to be apart of. I do a lot of shopping myself on websites, and now that I'm doing a lot of modelling for so its pretty fun to see yourself popping up on websites and stuff like that!

Do you have a daily schedule?
Yeah it's pretty hectic. You find out what you are doing the next day at like 5'oclock the evening beforehand!

Is this your first time in London?
Yes it is, first time in Europe actually. I've been here around two months now.

And how long are you planning to stay for?
I'll be here till around Christmas time. I left on such short notice that a lot of my friends didn't even know where I was, I didn't even have time to tell them. So it will be good to go back to home and just see everyone and have a proper catch up with family and stuff. So I'll probably spend christmas and then head back over. London is such exciting place to be, especially at this age. I've always wanted to get to Europe once school had finished up, so if I can be doing this over here as well it's a good opportunity.

What is your least favourite thing about modelling?
Probably the footwear, having to squeeze into uncomfortable shoes and walk along with a comfortable look on my face can be a challenge. haha That's probably the only thing I've had to struggle with so far.

How do you kill time when there is waiting time during castings and such?
I had a commercial job the other day which involved a lot of sitting around doing nothing, so whenever I had time go outside it gave me the chance to check out the area around a little bit. Being from overseas everything is new and interesting to me. Other than that, probably just sit on the phone you know staring into Facebook or something like that. haha

Coming into this did you have any expectations of the fashion industry?
Yeah, it wash't really something I put heaps of thought into. My knowledge of the fashion industry I guess would come from watching Zoolander or something like that. haha But you know coming into it it's a pretty cool scene to be involved with.

What is the best piece of advice you've been given?
Treat everyone with respect. I find that as long as you do that, you know when you give respect it's usually given back and it makes your life and everyone else's life easier. I had that piece of advice from a few people that I admire, which has helped me along the way.

What is your greatest memory of all time?
There's a few! I guess one the freshest one in my memory was a morning in Newcastle. I was with two mates and we went for a surf at sunrise off the back of a deep rock shelf, you had to paddle out for about 2 minutes. The sun had just come up and we had about 5 or 6 massive dolphins with scars on their face and big bites taken out of the fins and stuff like that, they looked like the bad boy dolphins haha. They started popping up all around us and scoping us out it felt like, seeing whether we were a threat or not I guess.Then they disappeared and within about 2 minutes later there was just this giant pod of dolphins about fifty to a hundred popping up, so that was a really really amazing experience!

If you had one guilty pleasure what would it be?
Across the road from the flat we're staying at in Stockwell, we've got this all night chicken shop, and these chicken burgers and fries are gripping with grease! He doesn't sell a normal serving of fries he sells like a bucket sized portion of fries for like three pounds! So some nights when you are hungry and just don't feel like cooking something up, a few of the boys and I might venture across the road and spend like a tenner or something. Yeah I suppose that would be a little guilty pleasure of mine here in London. But yeah its hard having it that close by and not saying no sometimes.

Apart from chicken do you have any plans for the future?
I'm really hoping to see a bit more of Europe whilst I'm around here. I've got a few friends travelling around Germany at the moment. It wasn't expected that we'd both be in Europe at the same time, but now that we are it would be great to meet up somewhere. I haven't thought too far down the line, i'm sort of just enjoying the moments here.

Interview by Maxime Anselin.
Words by Lottie Turner.

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