Monday, January 10, 2011

Adam Sidwell (Medusa) Interview

Today I spoke to  Adam Sidwell about his alter ego Medusa. Adam is first and foremost an amazing make up artist based in London. Adam is the personal make up artist to Nicole Scherzinger and takes his talent ten steps further to create his alter ego - Medusa - a stunning Gothic creature inspired by high fashion and the alternative underground scene in which he is fast becoming a major star.


1 ) Tell me about your alter ego Medusa . . .

Medusa is a mixture of all things night-time. She embodies everything to do with the colours and the feelings involved with any activities taken place beneath moonshine. She is believed to be very unapproachable and touchable, but the moment you speak to her the reality is very different. Misconception is a funny realisation I experience quite often.

2 ) Where did the inspiration for Medusa come from?

My inspiration behind Medusa was to really explore the world of Goth and all things that are irregular and alternative. It was very important to always remain an aspect of high fashion... It’s very easy when imagining Goth or alternative cultures as quite trashy or cheap, or student like... I wanted to dispel this idea and make the Medusa look so dark and alternative... but still ultimately something you would see on a Parisian couture catwalk show.

3 ) Growing up, who and what inspired you?

My mother inspired me very much. She herself was very dark and Gothic and loved the metal and rock scenes that heavily dominated the 80's. She is always very immaculately turned out, and always thought a lot about her image. Her makeup was immense and always dark and moody, but with a Human League electro pop look... a mix of everything that was going on in music at the time. Also current day fashion has a huge part to pay; my favourite designer Gareth Pugh heavily inspires my look. As well as the people I surround myself with... people like Mika Doll, Alex Box and many close friends all inspire me with their thoughts and opinions on style and image. I’m very easily convinced about about style, and can always read into this and see both sides of the story.

4 ) Were you always attracted to playing characters or dressing up?

I always believed that I wasn’t meant to be myself. I was confused and puzzled about whom I am, and I still think this today. It was as if there was a parallel life I was living somewhere else. So I did created this other world, for example, I would get ready for school, but I would always imagine I was getting dressed as something else. It was frustrating as I didn’t understand how to express the images I saw in my brain, I didn’t have the resources or understanding or skill of what I wanted to dress like. So I just lived in an opposite world. I was basically a day dreamer of epic proportions.


5 ) When did you begin experimenting with make-up?

I began experimenting with makeup in my early teens... when the dreaded blemishes began to plague my face. I would use concealer to blot them away.. I was amazed at how just a small amount would make me look so much better. So I began to use more. I wish I was born a lot later on... I see younger kids at school now who are able to express themselves more freely... you know, they rock a emo or Goth look and I wished I could have done that in my school. There was none of these fashion movements when I was at school. It was all about wearing an ellesse or fila sweater with kicker boots or shoes. No one looked different, no one wore any makeup. Everyone was a chav and I hated it.

6 ) When you realised you wanted to work as a professional make up artist, what steps did you take to further your career?

I fell into the industry by mistake, when I left school I did a business management course at college, and applied to work as a Christmas temp in a local department store, they put me to work on the perfumery counter and then worked my way up to work on the makeup counters... promotion lead to promotion and I eventually ended up with my dream job of working as a colour specialist in Harrods... that where I developed my skills and worked out this was what I wanted to do as a proper career. I then started to work freelance and ended up working with the pussycat dolls and Nicole Scherzinger... I’ve been with them for 6 years now... it’s been a hell of a journey.....

7 ) What have been some of the best experiences so far?

Some of my best experiences have been working with Nicole Scherzinger last year... We did X-Factor together which for me was a huge honour. I loved working on that show and the people there were just fantastic, Simon and Louis were great to be around. It’s also great to have worked on all of the numerous award shows and music performances all around Europe. Like MTV music awards and the EMA's to list a few.

8 ) Is there a big difference between Medusa and Adam, apart from the looks?

I don’t think there is many major differences between myself and Medusa, only the fact that Medusa is a heightened version of myself. A little bit more confident and comical I guess... I can get away with quite a lot when I’m Medusa. The most important thing to mention here is that I don’t want to be a woman; it’s just about me showing off my skills. Simple.


9 ) How do you feel when you transform into Medusa?

I feel like am a little more condensed and undiluted when I transform into Medusa... it’s like it’s a 'neat' version of me. I feel I’m at my most creative when I am her, as it showcases all of my creativity.

10 ) How do the public generally react with Medusa?

Most surprisingly I only get a very positive reaction when I’m out as Medusa. I literally travel around London on the tube as Medusa, and have no problems at all. I think some people can get a bit shocked when they see me, but it’s almost like "wow, did you just see that, wow!!!" its disbelief but positive disbelief. Obviously I mix with similar like minded people, who are just as creative and artistic, so therefore my looks are always appreciated.

11 ) Do you feel like Medusa can get away with saying/doing things that Adam cannot?

I can get away with a lot more exaggeration as Medusa, I can get away with smaller things, like Medusa would never have to pay to get into a club, whereas Adam would have to pay. It’s as though as Adam I’m the less famous brother of Medusa, which suites me fine. The people who know me the best will know that I am  always myself.... regardless of all the hair and makeup. I’m always Adam... even when I’m dressed as Medusa

12 ) Do you have many future plans for Medusa?

Plans for the future - Involve Medusa in some sort of live art performance, like an installation of some sort of show. I love being on stage and having a huge audience. I’m a very good public speaker, so I want to utilise that skill a lot more. Watch this space!

A big thank you to Adam for the interview.  

Adam's photos were taken by Mario Benedetti :  http://mariobenedetti.co.uk/

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