Andrea is an artist living and working in Dublin. She works through illustration mostly. With huge inspiration from Klimts females, Andrea recycles some of  these poses and enter them in to her own drawn environments. Andrea is also one half of Baby BEEF Art Press! As well as creating art, Andrea is also an art & design teacher at further education level.

andrea byrne

What got you in to independent publishing?

It all started back in 2006 when I met my good friend Sarah Bracken in Fine Art college. Sarah introduced me to zines and the culture surrounding them.

I was hooked and we soon teamed up as a collaboration and Baby BEEF Art Press was founded. We didn’t fit into the ideals of a Fine Artist and we just didn’t agree with what they wanted us to become after college. We loved all things underground so we wanted to make a zine full of art, poetry and short stories which gave artists like us a platformn to show their work outside of the traditional white cube gallery setting . With no money and an idea we set out making this zine, flyring for submissions all over the world on our travels and on Myspace (remember that!). Issue one was a complete photocopy issue, made from master copies and MANY hours spent over the photocopier! Our friends helped out providing us with free music at our print fundraiser gig. What I love about it is the freedom I have as an independent publisher to print and layout my work however I want.

What do you make/publish?

Last year I released a new zine at the DZF, titled ‘Shackle Vol I’. The zine is a comment on mental illness and has a look at some old fashioned procedures used, some of which are still used today! The zine is formatted to resemble an old medical file, with information provided in a report style. Included are reports on some iconic figures who met their decline due to mental illness; Bettie Page and Sylvia Plath.

Who/what inspires you?

My inspiration for ‘Shackle’ comes from a very personal place. Like most of us at some point in our lives, I’ve suffered with depression and mental illness has affected my life and people I know, in many ways. It was so interesting to research past practices and see what my treatment would have been like had I lived in a different time. Although the days of lobotomies scrambling our brain matter are gone, I wonder will we one day look back at todays medical treatments and cringe.

Today we’ve got medication to keep our “ibicile” and “manic” states in check. In fact there’s a pill for everything these days. Most of which are completely unecessary, expensive and dangerous! I am inspired by the people who are surviving everyday; by those brave enough to challenge common misconception about everything we think we know.

Who are your audience?

I have no idea, maybe not little kids but I suppose I’m writing the zine to myself. Bit narcacisitic I know! ‘Shackle’ was created by accident in a way, it started out by me combining interesting things I had learned in my Psychology lectures in college (back in the day!) and the research I had compiled out of pure interest over a number of years. My initial intrigue stems from learning that the ‘agoraphobia’ present in my family tree, spreads across two generations.

Have you exhibited at the Dublin Zine Fair before? How did it go?

Yes I have! Thanks to our amazing founder Sarah, I’m now part of the DZF TEAM along with Sarah,Mick and Tom. I’ve exhibited as part of Baby BEEF and with my own zines and artwork three/four times out of five I think?? Each time was better and better so I imagine this year #5 will be the best yet! We’ve got lots of talented artist/zinesters from our own little island and across the waters as far as New Zealand! I’m really excited about it and debuting ‘Shackle Vol II’.

Tell us a joke!

I’ve written these interview questions myself, but don’t have a joke to tell. It’s actually delaying me publishing this while I think of something funny to say! (Google Search- jokes) Well that’s pretty funny in itself.