Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Raymond Biesinger's home office inspires creativity

There are two home offices tucked into the corners of the apartment inhabited by Montreal-based, Edmonton-raised illustrator Raymond Biesinger, who draws for The New Yorker, GQ and Monocle, among other publications. Biesinger works out of the one shown here and his wife, Elizabeth Hudson, who owns Ursa Minor, a clothing design studio, commands the other. But because the airy Parc La Fontaine apartment, which they have lived in for the past year, is large and light-filled, they manage to stay out of each other's way. Raymond's nook is his favourite room in the place because it's where his creativity percolates: "Every single illustration I do is finished in that space," says the artist, who also plays in a duo called The Famines. "It has to be comfortable, it has to remind me of what I've done well and it has to remind me what others have done well, too. It has to guide me when I forget to guide myself. It is definitely a work space."

1. The wall calendar "That's a Stendig calendar. They've used the same design since 1966. It alternates between black and white months, but I love the black months enough though the white months are rarely shown. Impractical – I know."

2. The desk "The desk has been in my family since the 1950s. It was one of the first things my Grandpa Bogatin bought in Canada when he arrived from Yugoslavia. You can still see a black charred mark from when he fell asleep at work, cigar in hand."

Story continues below advertisement

3. The filing cabinet "The wheeled cabinet is a beautiful metallic robin's egg blue. We found it behind our apartment in Edmonton, just sitting in an alley. Currently, it holds shipping supplies. The lion holds my best sketching pencil in its maw."

4. The chair "Another thing that's as close to an heirloom as things get in my family. Grandpa bought it in the 1950s. Grandma crocheted a nice cover."

5. The panther "The black panther guards my very small collection of useless reel-to-reel tapes and bawdy 1960s American redneck comics – anti-hippie jokes, that kind of red-blooded thing."

6. The framed artwork "The largest framed piece is something of mine titled Cause oftDeath: Charles Adler. Otherwise, the wall has a collection of prints from Edel Rodriguez, Daniel Clowes, Ward Zwart and JP King, as well as postcards from The Bata Shoe Museum and Expozine in Montreal."

7. The black table "Elizabeth likes making furniture. That's a table made out of a window we found on the street here, complete with hinge and handle. It's got excellent spindly legs."

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author

Deirdre Kelly is a features writer for The Globe and Mail. She is the author of the best-selling Paris Times Eight and Ballerina: Sex, Scandal and Suffering Behind the Symbol of Perfection (Greystone Books). More

Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at