Interview with local artist, Pam Williams

Pam is an inspiration to us at Makerhood. She’s a terrific artist and has been a great source of friendship, support and advice as we have developed our ideas over the past year. So, who better than to kick off an irregular series of interviews with “people who inspire us”?

Kindly taking time out from her busy schedule to talk to us about drawing, running away to Greece, and how South London has changed in recent years, here’s Pam’s answers to our most probing questions.


1) Art appears to be in your blood. Is it something you wanted to do from an early age?

I went to 13 schools due to my father’s profession. It was the only subject that had any continuity!

2) You’ve sketched and painted a lot of events and festivals. How does this differ from your other work? I would imagine it’s quite challenging?

The main challenge is to be super disciplined. To produce great results…which is expected ….while keeping up with the events program. It’s very demanding.

3) You run a lot of workshops. How did you get into this?

By default. In the ’70s, I used to teach on the side, for bill money. I now have 30 years experience as well as up to date teachers training. It was important to experiment with myself and skills so, worked as a freelance from day one. Not great re a regular pay cheque!

4) We note that a number of these are in Italy. What draws you to that part of the world?

That environment is a perfect place to develop thoughts and activities in beautiful surroundings….

I always liked the bright sunny postcards from Europe and wanted to see if it was real. At 25yrs, I went to Greece with £30 I had saved up, working at the local village pub for a month, to see how people lived out there. The sun was real and the long meals, wonderfully sociable. Italy is the revival of that very happy time in Greece.

5) Lest we forget, of course, your home and studio is in South London. As an artist what’s its appeal?

Having a solid base of my own… could have been anywhere.

6) Has the area changed a lot since you moved here in 1991?

100%.  In 1991 it was uncared for, people felt and looked hopeless. The main street near me, was known, London wide, as the place to buy drugs…..not cool…at all….Fortunately, it was nothing compared to living in New York in the 80s. Now the community is beginning to grow ‘together’ and ‘up’ in a fascinating and positive way.

7) How do you think Makerhood could support your work and fit into your vision?

Makerhood is a gift from ‘whomever your God is’, if you are an independent artist. Makerhood could become the perfect business partner to help market local (more personal) products. In the making, it already looks well designed and could provide a secure online platform to advertise and sell within Brixton.

8 ) You seem to be passionate not just about the area, but art in general. How did you get involved in The Big Draw?

I was tired of working alone and wondered if others shared my passion… to revive the power of drawing in our society. So, I signed up as a volunteer in 2004. Have been a strong supporter and c ever since.

What would be your advice to any inspiring artists?

Draw something everyday. Choose a pen/pencil you like and stick with it until you can control it and every mark it can make.

9) If you could be anywhere, bar South London, right now sketching and doing watercolours, where would you be?

Mmmm, in reality?, at the moment… Exploring a North London borough, known for its street market. Every community is unique… Capturing the mix of people and mood of living and working together… There is always humour…

To sketch and paint….On a riverboat in the midst of a Thai river market, capturing the speed and colour of transactions from the boats to the land market traders? the prize… buying and trying their delicious food. the promise of perks help me to concentrate and their energy would fire mine.

10) How can people find out more about you and your work?

Send me a message from the site with their email to add to a list for future exhibitions or news update.

Bonus question: If you were to share a top insider tip for someone new to Brixton and the surrounding area, what would it be?

Sign up to everything Brixton…Get involved, even if you don’t like meetings….you will meet locals of all types….start off friendships and understand Brixton from the inside out….volunteer….at your own pace…you will be part of the community and feel at home, not a stranger in a box in London.