Updated: Jun 16
Anaysa Stark (she/her/ella) is a Queer Indigenous Woman of Color (QIWOC) of Latinx and Tohono O'odham descent. She is the owner, creator and artist of Art Mimics Life, established in 2018.
Growing up, art introduced Anaysa to a world of endless creativity and ultimately saved her life. She uses art as an outlet for self-care, where she is able to direct her energy in a meaningful and positive way. Art Mimics Life was established in an effort to contribute to her goal of bringing awareness and prevention of homelessness and housing instability among the LGBTQ+ community, while also giving back as an official donor to youth programming at the Eon Youth Lounge.
Anaysa works as an advocate for LGBTQ+ at-risk youth and young adults to bring awareness of the heightened risk of homelessness and housing instability among LGBTQ+ youth, while also focusing on the prevention of homelessness in our youth population. She strives to help break down systemic barriers and dismantling stigmas impacting the community.
Anaysa tattoos a feather on her girlfriend who is a huge support to her work.
Being part of the LGBTQ+ community, Anaysa strives to confront societal norms specifically gender and binary-specific norms. You can always expect 100% transparency, advocacy for people of color, and advocacy for queer liberation in an effort to catalyze positive change for the LGBTQ+ community.
Anaysa draws, paints with various mediums, creates custom painted shoes, does graphic design and logo creation, is a tattoo artist, and owns Art Mimics Life clothing brand.
When asked what her work means to her, she shares the following:
"Tattooing is more than just getting something on your body...
"For me, tattooing means connecting with people, and hearing their story as they explain their idea of permanent art. Tattooing is my form of self-care and healing. To be asked to bring ideas to life on skin is one of the greatest honors I could ever experience.
"Initially, I was apprehensive at the thought of becoming a tattoo artist, mainly because the tattoo world is predominantly seen as a man's trade. As an artist, I am at times subjected to instances of not being taken seriously, being undervalued and also underpaid...
"Despite the hurdles, I am determined to make a name for myself by remaining authentic in my identity as an Queer Indigenous Woman of Color."
One of Anaysa's most recent projects included a commissioned design that embodied a Desert Queer theme for the Institute of LGBT Studies at the University of Arizona.
"I really thought about the best way to represent this task and I came up with the shown artwork for the school year 2019-2020. I hoped to create something true to my Tucsonan roots while also representing pride in the desert.
Photo taken at InQUEERies: An Evening of LGBTQ+ Art, Culture, and Expression hoted by the University of Arizona's Institute of LGBT Studies.
"I decided to create a desert piece with a great deal of small linework and details to demonstrate that our paths are always forming and continuously changing, and the QTPOC pride flag background as the Arizona sunset. I also paid ode to our famous 'A' Mountain and showcased my Art Mimics Life logo on the mountain.
"I am very proud of this piece and honored to be featured as a QIPOC artist in collaboration with a large higher education institution. This particular design is currently still available on my website www.artmimicslife.com to purchase."