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With a Bachelor of Fine Arts in visual art and a Master of Publishing from SFU, Andrew Wilmot has forged a distinctive career path with his unique set of skills. Originally from White Rock, Andrew now lives in Toronto where he is an author, editor, and freelance writer. His first novel, The Death Scene Artist, was published in Oct 2018.
One of the things Andrew loved about the visual art program was the freedom to create at the studios at 611 Alexander. “We could do whatever we wanted as long as we could repair it,” he says. “I enjoyed it. I really got a sense of what people mean when they say ‘the best years of your life.’”
After completing his BFA in 2005, Andrew hadn’t planned on pursuing a master’s in publishing. In fact, he applied for a master’s in painting program at Concordia, but found that he needed some more real-world experience. After a while, he realized that he had always loved writing, and when he discovered the MPub program in 2007, it was a good fit. “I didn’t want to be the writer who didn’t understand the industry.”
After graduating from the MPub program, Andrew joined NeWest Press, a small publishing house in Edmonton. It was there that he began writing what would become his novel in the mornings. He was interested in doing more of his own writing, so he moved to Toronto to pursue freelancing in 2012. Now, as an artist, writer, and editor, he is putting his versatile skills to use in a multitude of ways and values his SFU experiences. “I genuinely loved my time there; it’s where I found myself.”
10 Questions with Andrew Wilmot
Describe your dream job.
Half of what I’m doing now and getting paid for it. Less editing and more writing; to survive being a writer and be able to do more genres of writing.
What is your idea of success?
Being able to survive doing what I love without having to sacrifice my morals or ethics.
Describe your most memorable experience during your time at SFU.
Our 4th-year visual art exhibition. It was the biggest thing I’d done up to that time.
Tell us about one of your important mentors or role models.
Mary Schendlinger was a wealth of knowledge and kindness.
What is the most important thing you learned during your degree?
I am in fact mortal and will get very sick if I don’t sleep.
Take advantage of what’s available while you’re there — students have access to so many things.
If you could go back to school and take any course for fun, what would you study?
I would do another master’s degree — in painting or creative writing.
What do you most want to change about the world?
Push Nazis and fascism back into the closet. I would love there to be a decrease in hate and for people to read more and be critical.
What is the last book you read?
Thick: And Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom. It’s a fantastic collection of essays about being black and a woman in America.
If you could go back in time and tell yourself one piece of advice to help you during your degree, what would it be?
Enjoy the time a little more and be less of a workaholic. I didn’t stop to embrace the physical space of it and didn’t partake in clubs.
If you had a motto, what would it be?
Bleed all over the page.