My arts journey starts here
The Metamorphosis

 Hi,guys! Starting  last week, my teacher asked me to make a visualization project which adapted from “The Metamorphosis” novel by Franz Kafka in 1915. The Metamorphosis is a novel by Franz Kafka, which first published in 1915. The story begins with a traveling salesman,  Gregor Samsa , waking to find himself transformed metamorphose into a large, monstrous insect-like creature. The cause of Gregor’s transformation is never revealed, and Kafka himself never gave an explanation. The rest of Kafka’s novella deals with Gregor’s attempts to adjust to his new condition as he deals with being burdensome to his parents and sister, who are repelled by the horrible, verminous creature Gregor has become.


This story includes about a cockroach. So, I will tell you a bit of general knowledge about cockroach. There are some types of cockroach: American cockroach, brown-banded cockroach, German cockroach, and  Oriental cockroach, but I choose to illustrate the American cockroach. An american cockroach has 6 legs, has wings, has antennae, is the kingdom : Animalia, phylum: Artrophoda, class: Insecta, order :Dictyopera, family: Blattidae, and species: Periplaneta americana.


The criteria is to produce and design a visual response to what Gregor Samsa might look like in the stage of becoming. So, I started by researching for several artist’s artworks: (click the button below)


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Resources: from Peter Kuper’s 2007 comic-book adaptation of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis


Adapted by: Peter Kuper




By: Hannah K. Lee

Then, I have to highlight 2 scenes in Kafka’s Metamorphosis that interest me and that could be illustrated/materialized.

Here are the 2 scenes which I choose:


For the first scene, I can use Gregor as the character. Gregor can be made in the form of a cockroach. It can be illustrated with the setting of:

Place: Gregor’s bedroom

Gregor’s position: on the bed

Furnitures: Window, bed, cupboard, walls, chair and mirror

Gregor’s form: a cockroach brown, arched abdomen divided up into rigid bow-like sections, numerous legs

So, I have to collect a range of images that I will need to reference for my interpretations for the characters, costumes, and background scenery. Actually, I choose 3 types of artworks to be made, so that I have more options: making a photograph or a collage, or a drawing.

  • Collages: Materials= paper, scanner, drawing, range of images, laptop, adobe photoshop software
  • Drawing: Materials= paper, charcoal stick and pencil
  • Photograph: Materials= laptop, printer, glossy photo paper, camera

Setting: Character- a person’s head combined with a cockroach body

Place- bedroom or blank room

Furniture- cupboard, window, door, mirror, bed

  • Black humor:  Scene 1- A sad face of a handsome man which combined with a cockroach body while he is looking at his body condition.
  •  Black humor: Scene 2- A handsome face with a painful expression ( body in the form of cockroach body with an old guy who is pushing the cockroach-man down until bleeding.
  • Images for coackroach:

c2 c3 Cockroach_closeup

cockroach trans background


2 3 4 5 ed4




Dark Color:

g g2 g4 g5


Brushed metal background


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Framed photographs

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Then, yesterday, I made a sample of one of the scene of “The Metamorphosis” story. I took this scene:

Gregor’s glance then turned to the window. The dreary weather (the rain drops were falling audibly down on the metal window ledge) made him quite melancholy.

Here is the step-by-step sample for making the illustration in adobe photoshop from colors to black and white: (click on the button below)


After fixing it by paint software,  I have been done with this. So, here is the result:

kecoa copy

But it was just a trial. My teacher gave me a feedback on my last thumbnail, that I have to match the shadow and colors with the other objects, and I have to give range of images of shocked and scared emotions, in order to express the condition and the feelings of the character. Here are some pictures of persons with those expressions:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Here are my artwork on the second trial using 2 different scenes:

prototype 2 prototype 3

Anyway, I am trying to make the insect body using peanut and branches. I am planning to make the peanut as the insect body, branches as the insect’s legs and antennae, and nut shell as a blanket. I got the inspiration when I was paying attention to a nutshell and the peanut . It has 2 sections so I was thinking of making the body of the insect using nutshell or the 2 peanuts combined together as the top and bottom of the bug’s body

download (2) health-peanut shutterstock_peanuts

I have planning for the setting:

  • Colors: Black and White, because I want to express vintage
  • Using Adobe photoshop and instagram filter
  • Type of bug I want to make: Assassin bug
  • Insect body : a peanut (nutshell), in order to express the body shape and to express the abdoment of the insect
  • Insect antennae-draw 2 lines
  • Insect body and legs- branches and drawing line in photoshop
  • Rain: By spray water from outside the window
  • Window: a metal window at home
  • Expression: Sad, ( it is not really needed because I want to try the position from backward)

So, here is the result:


After doing a presentation to present this work, I got some feedbacks from the teacher and my friends:

  • Maybe it will be cool if I try to use x-ray filter of bug or just print this work on a transparent paper
  • Change the antennae expression to more like in a scared and shocked feeling
  • Try to make it brighter so that the bug’s body part will be visible, but some people asked me to make it darker to even only the head visible
  • Try to print it in a big size, such as on A2 size paper
  • The position should be glancing, but it is ok if it just like this

Then, I made the new one and I choose “Giant Water Bug” as the bug but I was planning to combine the head and the bug’s body

Giant Water Bug, Lethocerus insulanus

Giant Water Bug, Lethocerus insulanus

Then I tried to print it on a plastic paper named “mika”, so that it would looks like an X-Ray when I print it:


fix copy

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