the creative life

WATCH: George McCalman on how San Francisco inspired his Black history drawings

Note: Queerty’s San Francisco Stories video series was shot before the coronavirus pandemic

“People come here to define who they are.”

As George McCalman says this, sitting in his light-filled San Francisco studio, the truth of his words could not be clearer. The illustrator, culture columnist, and creative director at McCalman Co., a marketing company, clearly knows who he is and what he wants.

“The color palette of the air and light of northern California just kills me every single time,” he says. “And whoever you are, you will find other people like you.”

That light and air have inspired many of McCalman’s creations since moving to the city, including his book, Illustrated Black History.

“I assigned myself a daily painting of a black history pioneer,” he explains. “The landscape of San Francisco has completely brought my artistry out and into the mix.”

Watch McCalman’s interview, filmed prior to Shelter-In-Place, to learn more about how the city by the bay has inspired his life in the latest episode of Queerty’s San Francisco Stories: