What do you love the most about photography?
I have a very high standard of aesthetic beauty, and the process of styling a piece, space, or frame by arranging things within the frame or adjusting the frame itself (behind the lens) to make the picture look perfectly captured. That is what I enjoy most with photography.
How did you first get into photography?
I’ve always had an interest in capturing beautiful scenery. I think the first time I realized I liked photography was on a family trip to New Zealand. I was taking so many pictures on a mountain hike I could barely keep up. Since then I’ve been inspired by different photographers and photography online and delved into many other aspects.
Why the name Velveteen Cockroach?
I wanted something glamorous at the time, a name with a rich and silky texture like velveteen. Obviously it brought to mind the velveteen rabbit, but that was so common. One of my favorite japanese rock bands had a song by the name of cockroach 666 and they were the boldest, most flamboyant band I knew. Cockroach was edgy, crazy, wild whereas something like the “velveteen bunny” just didn’t have the spark I was looking for… and so velveteencockroach was born. It’s funny because this New Yorker once told me over IG that my name was just so “new york”! I don’t really know what that means, but my name was definitely inspired by a japanese rock band.
What type of people follow you?
Honestly, I think my followers are all different. I don’t like to cater to a specific style, e.g. grunge/nature/pale/fashion. I am inspired by all sorts of photography styles I see online so I would say whoever follows my blog probably enjoys looking at pretty pictures. I love my followers and they’re all friends, or I would like to befriend them all, if I had the time!
You have photographed many nature walks around Singapore – Gillman Barracks, Bukit Batok Nature Reserve, to the walk along Singapore’s abandoned railway line. What is it about capturing nature that you like?
I like that these places have history. Also Singapore is so small, people are everywhere. Sometimes I simply like to get away from people in general and delve into a different dimension. I am very much a city girl, but I also like exploring and spending time in spaces where you can hear yourself think. When you feel like it’s just you vs nature.
You publish a new culinary treat each week on your blog so we know you’re a foodie. Favourite food spot in Singapore?
Right now I’m obsessed with pasta. I’ve been vegetarian for a few months now, and vegetarian pasta is one of the things I can eat without restraint! One place I’m loving now is Supply & Demand at Orchard Gateway, because they serve the best ravioli.
Have you always been a creative person?
I never used to think I was a creative person per say. But I was obsessed with art since young. I devoured books, writings, drawings, digital illustrations, paintings, fashion magazines, photography, music, film, anime… any form of art you could get your hands on online and in real life. I was obsessed with any one or two at any time of my life. Anything creative and beautiful in any form inspires me. Artists inspire me. Visionaries inspire me. Now that Instagram is my life, I am almost constantly inspired.
Who do you follow on Instagram for creative inspiration then?
There are many people whom I admire for their creativity, but my favorite people on Instagram have got to be the ones who I notice are also kind. I would say my all time favorite person to follow on Instagram that embodies both qualities is Gary Pepper Girl.
What is one style essential could you not live without?
Neutral makeup takes you anywhere and goes with anything.
Silver, gold or rose gold?
Favourite jewelry piece on Annielka?
The Oxidised Sterling Silver Damballah Voodoo Ring by Lee Renee. It caught my eye from the very beginning.
Any career tips for anyone looking to start a blog and becoming a stylist / photographer?
As in any other career in the arts, it’s important to stay inspired and stay passionate. Let your passion lead you into writing, styling or photographing something you really care about. Don’t doubt your talents, focus on getting better and finding like minded people who inspire you.