Skip to main content

Rafael López

Biography

Rafael López

The work of Rafael López is a fusion of strong graphic style and magical symbolism. Growing up in Mexico City he was immersed in the rich cultural heritage and native color of street life. Influenced by Mexican surrealism, dichos and myths he developed a style with roots in these traditions.

His illustrations for BOOK FIESTA! written by Pat Mora were the recipient of the 2010 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award given by the American Library Association to honor work that best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in children's books. His children's books have also won 2 Americas Awards and and two Pura Belpré Honors. His 2008 poster Voz Unida was selected by the Obama/Biden campaign as an official poster at Artists for Obama. The 2011 stamps he created for the United States Postal Service celebrated Latin Music Legends, Celia Cruz, Carlos Gardel, Carmen Miranda, Tito Puente and Selena. His Merengue stamp was featured on the cover of the commemorative stamp yearbook in 2006 and at a special exhibition at the Smithsonian called Trendsetters. A 2007 stamp celebrated an important legal case in equality of education called Mendez vs. Westminster. His international client list includes Amnesty International, Apple, Harper Collins, IBM, Intel, Los Angeles Times, the Grammy Awards, and the World Wildlife Fund. In 2009 he was invited to create 3 paintings for Oprah Winfrey's school in South Africa.

His work on the Urban Art Trail Project transformed San Diego's blighted East Village with colorful murals, sculptures and art installations and serves as a model of urban renewal that has been implemented in cities around the nation.

Rafael divides his time between his studios in the colonial town of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and a loft in downtown San Diego where he works and lives with his wife and son.

Rafael López

Books by Rafael López

Written by Margarita Engle with illustrations by Rafael López - Biography, Children's 8-12, Children's Nonfiction, History, Poetry

Musician, botanist, baseball player, pilot --- the Latinos featured in this collection come from many different countries and from many different backgrounds. Celebrate their accomplishments and their contributions to a collective history and a community that continues to evolve and thrive today!

by Rafael López - Biography, Children's 4-7, Culture, Music

Girls cannot be drummers. Long ago on an island filled with music, no one questioned that rule --- until the drum dream girl. She had to keep quiet and practice in secret. But when at last her dream-bright music was heard, everyone sang, danced and decided that both girls and boys should be free to drum and dream. Inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers, DRUM DREAM GIRL tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere.

written by Monica Brown, illustrated by Rafael López - Biography, Children's, Music, Nonfiction

In this vibrant bilingual picture book biography of musician Tito Puente, readers will dance along to the beat of this mambo king's life. From Spanish Harlem to the Grammy Awards --- and all the beats in between --- this is the true story of a boy whose passion for music turned him into the "King of Mambo."