We were given such a great assignment in one of my classes this quarter. We were asked to build a shadow box with interesting textures that utilized biographical elements. Here is what I ended up with:
It's made of gutted books (it's sad and messy to gut a book) purchased at the Salvation Army, a boat-shaped nest I made of twigs, vines, and herbs from my back yard, vellum paper, a wire hanger, thread, and antique stamps. The books are a nod to my undergrad degree in English (and the lit magazine we published that was bound in gutted books). Also I'm in love with the water, and a boat-nest was a handy way of representing how I'm constantly moving but stubbornly nesting in each new city.
So! After building this little diorama (mine kind of looks like a bathtub shrine, no?) we were asked to draw it in any black-and-white media, and to add a hint of color somewhere in the drawing. So I came up with the dude below. It was drawn in graphite, and the stamps digitally collaged.