by Photo courtesy of Rafael López

He is the author who illustrated the children's book Judge Sonia Sotomayor wrote and who was commissioned by the United States Postal Service to design a dozen postage stamps to be used this year, including five colorful mariachis, including a woman, all in traditional costumes.

To design the stamps, the author, Rafael López, says he reminded his visits as a child to the most traditional place of mariachis in his native Mexico City.

"Growing up, I remember nostalgic weekends listening to the unique Mexican sound of mariachi music at Plaza Garibaldi in Mexico City. Colorful songs that tell stories of celebration, struggles, lost love and joy", declared the artist.
For López, who lives in San Diego, where he has his studio, "mariachi music is an emblem of the Mexican cultural heritage with roots in the United States and followers worldwide."

The mariachis on the stamps dress in charro suits, playing the guitar, the guitarrón, the vihuela, the violin, and the trumpet.
The artist said he was "excited and honored to share the vibrant spirit of Mariachi music with five new Mariachi Forever stamps that I created for the United States Postal Service."

In addition to the new Mariachi 2022 stamps, he also created the Leyenda de la Música Latina series.

In 2008 and 2012, the artist designed the official posters for President Obama's campaign to win the Latino vote.

Lopez is known locally for being the founder of the Urban Art Trail movement in San Diego's East Village, a series of murals about the community. Still, his murals are in urban areas, children's hospitals, public schools, under freeways, and farmers' markets.

In addition to illustrating the book, ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You, by Judge Sotomayor, López has displayed paintings in many other literary works and has won various awards.

His clients include Amnesty International, Apple, Atheneum Books, Charlesbridge Publishing, Chicago Tribune, HarperCollins, Henry Holt & Company, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, IBM, Intel, Lee & Low Books, Library of Congress, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Penguin Books, Scholastic Books, Simon & Schuster, the Grammy Awards, the United States Forest Service, the United States Postal Service, The Washington Post, and the World Wide Fund for Nature.

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