Artist Rafael Lopez was born on August 8, 1961 in Mexico City, Mexico. Influenced by the opulent environment and cultural traditions of Mexico City, Lopez has matured as an artist gaining respect amongst a wide spectrum of age groups. Along with two other American Awards for illustrations in children's books, the American Library Association awarded Lopez the 2010 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award, an honor presented to those who have demonstrated excellence in the depiction and commemoration of Latino culture and experience through children's books.
Noteworthy works of Lopez include his 2008 poster of President Barak Obama named Voz Unida, which was chosen by the Obama/Biden administration as an official campaign poster. Lopez has also incorporated some of his art into the United States Postal Service stamp collection called Latin Music Legends which features Celia Cruz, Selena, Carmen Miranda, Tito Puente, and Carlos Gardel. He also designed another stamp named Merengue, which appeared on the cover of the 2006 commemorative stamp yearbook as well as Trendsetters, a special Smithsonian exhibit. He even was requested to produce three paintings for Oprah Winfrey’s school in South Africa. Currently, Lopez works between studios set up in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and a loft in San Diego where he and his family live.
"Growing up in Mexico I learned to speak the language of color at a very early age. No dar color is a popular expression that translates to an inability to give off color or emotion. For me color and texture is an expression of my identity, my heritage and I've learned it is the most direct route to the emotions of children and families who turn the pages of my books." – Rafael Lopez