Gordon Friesen was born in Vancouver, b.c. and raised in rural Surrey before it was paved with freeways and strip malls. As a child Gordon was always drawing and as a teenager began designing posters. Inspired by album cover art of the 1960’s, Gordon attended the Kootenay School of Art to study graphic design.
From there Gordon roamed about, working in sweatshops, painting houses, building wilderness trails, labouring on the railroad and in sawmills. Along the way, Gordon studied applied design at Douglas College and printmaking at the Alberta College of Art. Gordon learned to print textiles in the N.W.T.
Returning to the Kootenays, Gordon co-founded a design and screen printing shop and his line drawings began to be published in literary magazines.
In 1982, Gordon relocated to the west coast and continued to work in graphic design and exhibit his assemblages. For time Gordon worked on video documentaries and facilitated collage making workshops.
In 1990, Gordon was offered an opportunity to create a series of illustrations pertaining to the natural and human history of Beacon Hill Park. This project had a profound influence on his career as an illustrator. Currently, his work continues to focus on line drawing which, to his mind, is a basic human language.