Tales From A Secret Garden – Speed Edit

‘Down a windy path, behind a hidden door,
A secret garden lays waiting for whoever seeks its wonders.’

Hey everyone just wanted to share my speededit of sorts with you, showing how I put together this image


Erin’s Secret Garden

It’s been a slow start to the year I’ve found it hard to find the motivation to create so far and I’ve had to remove my prints from society 6 due to some issues in quality control so that’s quite disappointing. But on a positive note I decided to create a new instagram account dedicated to my love of nature and flower photography called Erin’s secret garden.

I made the decision to try and keep my main account to my portrait and self-portrait work to keep it with one theme instead of it just being all over the place. I often find social media overwhelming but I hope to try my best this year to create a unique feed and just see how I go.

If your interested check out my grateful’s project over on my personal blog  Life of Dahlia.

Have a great day,


2016 recap

Work by Erin Applebee

2016 was a year of many highs and some serious lows but I got through those to have some amazing experiences that I am really grateful for.

I started a 365 grateful project that epically failed but I’m really not surprised I always find th0se hard but I managed to learn a tonne of new skills and created many self-portrait artworks that I’m super proud of.

I graduated from my ‘Certificate IV in Digital Design’ after two years, something I never thought that I would be capable of and started a course in business, my next learning journey to running my own business whatever that may be.

I spent four months with my sister in the gold coast and got to do so many amazing things including seeing rainforests, waterfalls and got to tick Brisbane off my bucket list of places I’d never been.

I purchased my first guitar and plan to learn how to play in 2017.

While I had many lows in 2016 I’m grateful for having the support of my family to get through them and I’m grateful for the amazing experiences and all the new things that I learnt.

Farewell 2016 and onward to whatever 2017 brings.

Happy New Year.

The Truth Is In The Dirt


I’ve been really inspired by angels lately and antique paintings so I wanted to emulate that in this image. I wanted my character to be unidentifiable but there to be an elegance to her to I used an image that had softness in posing and with soft fabrics.

I really like how the textures create a background that emulates that of antique studio photography and the lighting while dark makes my character the focal point in this image. I love the vulnerability that she has and sadness about her, which I feel could be interpreted in different ways. But I’ll leave that up to you.

If your interested in seeing how I created this image please view the video below or check out my Youtube Channel to see more.


Creative Review – Wreck This Journal

I’ve been a fan of Keri Smith‘s books for sometime and I’ve managed to get quite a collection over the last couple of years. I thought it would be fun to do a review for each one I’ve collected and include some of my favourite pages from each.

Wreck This Journal was my first and favourite from Keri Smith, the concept and prompts in this book make a fun and individual journey. Since starting this book a couple of years ago I have noticed there are two ways to take the prompts, you can be more literal and simply wreck this journal or use the prompts as inspiration and use the book in a more artistic way as an art journal.

I have done the latter and use this journal in a more artistic way, taking the prompts as inspiration to create art or collect things.

My favourite medium is sharpies and alcohol markers, I like how they bleed though creating a more artistic way to wreck this journal. I like to take pictures of each page I create so that I have a reference of the page in case it gets wrecked later on. And also so that I can share it online. One of my favourite pages has been shared on pinterest over 300 times.


This page has been shared on pinterest over 300 times and is one of my favourite pages in my wreck this journal

I recently traveled and this was the one thing I took with me, not only because its my favourite but because I love using books like this to relax but also keep my creative juices flowing.

I love this book so much that I purchased the mini version called ‘Wreck this journal everywhere‘ which also has additional prompts.

The possibilities are endless with these journals and that’s what I love about them, and probably why I have managed to get quite a collection of these types of books. Check out my favourites post If your interested in collecting similar books to ‘Wreck this Journal‘, it includes some from Keri Smith and other authors.


I love finding inspiration from other artist journals by simply searching instagram or pinterest you’ll find many people posting and sharing their own interpretations. I love that this journal is about individuality and self-expression, I think that’s what draws me to these types of books.

Have you ever attempted to ‘Wreck this journal’ or something similar? I would love to your pages or know your thoughts, feel free to leave a comment below.



If These Wings Could Fly


I was really inspired by traditional paintings or a painterly style for this image, I was really inspired by the style in which old paintings were painted and I really wanted to emulate this in ‘If these wings could fly.’

I am really happy with this piece and the way it came out, I felt that I was able to emulate the style in which I wanted to achieve while adding a contemporary element.

I used mostly my own stock for this image including texture overlays with the exception of the water droplets and the wings. You can find my beach stock images and textures via my textures and stock page.

To see how I created this image please view the video below or check out My Youtube Channel.




This image was purely an experiment, I was looking through my catalogue of images and found some from years ago that I thought would make a great background. I love the sun flare and the colours in this image, my only negative is that my character is way down in the bottom of the image and I feel like she gets a bit lost.

Whenever I create a new image I like to take the opportunity to learn from it, whether it’s trying it out a new technique or skill I have learnt or simply taking something away that I could improve upon or be inspired by to create something new.

I love elements of this image including the background and the elegance of my character but I defiantly feel that there is room for improvement. For example I feel like this image came out extra noisy, this could be because of added texture but it could also be the original background image.

I don’t always mind noise or texture in my image because I’m a big fan of film photography and like to emulate that in my work where I can but I feel like this has a little too much. So if I could take something from this I would watch my placement and focal point, but also the exposure and noise in my image.

If your interested in seeing how I created my image please watch the video below, for more videos check out my Youtube Channel.

You can find my textures, stock and other resources here or via the purchase drop down menu above.

Happy Creating,


On Stranger Tides


On Stranger Tides

I started this image a while ago but it took me a while to finish it until I discovered a couple of wonderful photoshop plug in’s, the Nik Collection Software which is free to download and Impressions 2 by Topaz Labs. I have been using these for a couple of months now and I feel like they are great programs to add that extra pop to your work.

I was really inspired to use impressions by fine-art flower photographer Kathleen Clemons, I watched her creative live course and she mentioned a few of the programs she likes to use on her images. I had previously used Photoshop’s oil paint filter but lost it when I updated, Impressions is like that but way better. It’s very initiative, it gives me a lot of options including brush stroke style, number of strokes, length, randomness, colour just to name a few.

This style doesn’t work with all my pieces but some I find it really finishes the piece off. Like this piece ‘On Stranger Tides’, I wanted this image to have an antique painterly look and impressions really helped me make that come true.

If your interested in seeing how I created this image please check out the video below, if you would like to seem more check out My Youtube Channel.

2016 – A Retrospect


2016 has been a journey of self discovery, I started this year wanting to improve my compositing skills through self-portraiture.The video you see above is timeline of both my journey in self-portraiture and the improvement of my compositing skills through out this year.

As most artists I found it hard to do self-portraits at the start but as time has gone on I have got more inspired to create stories and create new characters. I have felt that as I create new works I am starting to see a painterly style emerge in my work and its something I’m really liking.

I have made it a point that every time I create a new piece to try out a new technique or skill that I’ve learnt, I have used each piece as a learning experience.

Not every piece has turned out as great as I have wanted but I’ve tried to use this as inspiration to take things further. Recently I created an image where my character had wings and in the original image also had fireballs. I re-edited and re-edited this image but there was always something missing or not quite right. I used this experience to create two new images both which turned out better than that piece and I am proud to include in my portfolio.

This journey has been a great learning experience and I feel proud of the personal achievements I have made this year. When this year started out I new this was something I wanted to achieve, I was inspired by artist like Brooke Shaden who you will know is one of my favourite artists if you have been following my blog posts.

This year I have learnt a lot from following her work, whether its on her blog, youtube channel, through reading her book or the two courses I purchased of hers. I attribute her to my improvement because she has inspired me to keep creating.

I made a few goals this year, one to improve my compositing skills, two to create self portraits and three to learn about my craft by learning from other artist. I’m not usually one to set new years resolutions or projects like this mainly because I’m really bad at keeping to them but I feel that I have accomplished all these goals.

I’m already thinking about my goals for next year, what things I would like to accomplish but at the moment there not set in stone.

Thank you for following my journey this year.