Rafael López is an award-winning artist and children's book illustrator. In this interview, Rafael talks about the important role drawing played in his childhood, the influence of his Mexican heritage on his work, and the inspiration behind some of his favorite illustrations.
Rafael López is an award-winning artist and children's book illustrator whose work includes Me llamo Celia/My Name is Celia, Yummm! Mmmm! ¡Qué Rico!, Our California, and Book Fiesta. His work has been selected for multiple juried shows and his children's books have won a number of awards, including the Américas Awards and the Pura Belpré Honor Award. Rafael most recently received the 2010 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award for his illustrations of Book Fiesta by Pat Mora, a children's book in honor of El día de los niños/El día de los libros. This award is given by the American Library Association to honor work that best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in children's books.
Rafael has also launched a number of projects to revitalize urban neighborhoods through art with the Urban Art Trail Project and a school mural project in San Diego. In addition, he has created stamps for the U.S. Postal Service, paintings for Oprah Winfrey's school in South Africa, and a portrait of President Barack Obama that became an official poster for the Obama 2008 presidential campaign.
Rafael divides his time between his studios in San Miguel de Allende, México and San Diego, California, where he works and lives with his wife and son.