This year, we asked some of our illustrator friends to draw live sketches during the conference. Talented graphic designer and illustrator Ioana Șopov was all eyes and years during the two days of our Bucharest edition, and captured these amazing portraits of our speakers.


Here is the illustrated story of the two days:


Jacqui Banaszynski opened the fifth edition with a talk about the lessons she learned from reporting stories from all over the world:



She was followed on stage by Romanian writer Carmen Bugan, who discussed the process of creating literary work out of personal testimony:



Next, Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams success, talked about confessional writing and how it can resonate beyond the personal:





Romanian artist Dan Perjoschi charmed the audience with examples of his work:


Wendy MacNaughton than talked about how she brings stories of real people and events to life through drawings:



Next, photographer Richard Koci Hernandez shared some of his tips for creating unforgettable visual stories:



At the end of the first day, film director Alexander Nanau talked about his most recent movie, Toto and His Sisters:




Opening Day 2 was author and literary critic John Freeman, who talked about the absence of place in so much of todays’s writing:



Bestselling author and GQ contributor Michael Paterniti followed with a keynote on projecting stories and shared insights into writing process:


Fourth time speaker Chris Jones’ moment on stage was filled with laughter, funny stories and advice for the young generation:


Radiolab co-host Robert Krulwich closed our two-day conference with a heartwarming talk on radio storytelling, curiosity, finding stories and asking questions.


Ioana Șopov has been working in this field for about five years, experimenting with both traditional and digital mediums. Her work has been featured in magazines such as NeverLazy Magazine, CAP Design Magazine (Sweden), DPI Magazine Taiwan. She likes to incorporate new styles and techniques into her illustrations and has a soft-spot for character design and character-oriented illustrations, especially those related to pirates and swashbuckling buccaneers.