Editor’s Note:

JM Blay is a big fan of fantasy, and his latest fascination is Mistborn, a series of novels by Brandon Sanderson. Ever since he started reading them, he couldn’t help but imagine how they would look on film. So Blay decided to come up with some titles for a hypothetical big screen adaptation. We all fantasise about getting away from the money worries and constraints of ordinary life, and just doing what we’d like to do if money wasn’t an issue. Not everyone manages it, but JM decided to take a stand for this project. He ditched the bills and commitments and put creativity and passion first. So we wanted to know more about the project itself , the challenges of working with magic, how do you bounce your creative ideas off when you don´t have the feedback and input of a whole team and the one million dollar question.. how did it feel to let go of deadlines, budgets and constraints and just focus on unleashing your creativity?

If you’re eager to delve deeper into his background, we offer you a more extensive interview focusing on his early beginnings: Who is JM Blay?

Tell us a little bit more about yourself and Blay Studio.

I’m a creative director, director, and founder of the creative studio and production company Blay Studio, based in Valencia (Spain). Blay Studio is a creative endeavor born out of my passion for visual storytelling and digital art. As a one-person studio, I specialize in utilizing various digital tools and techniques to bring imaginative concepts to life, whether it’s for personal projects like this one or commissioned work for clients.

This project wasn’t about financial gain; it was about nurturing my artistic spirit and exploring my love of fantasy literature.

How did this idea come about and how long did it take?

The idea for this project came from my love for Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series and my desire to visually see what I was reading in the books. When I made the decision to invest time in this personal project rather than pursue additional client work, it was a conscious choice. This project wasn’t about financial gain; it was about nurturing my artistic spirit and exploring my love of fantasy literature. I probably worked on it on and off for three months. Since I didn’t have a hard deadline, I was able to take a somewhat irregular approach to my schedule. While I set aside certain hours each day to work on the project, I also allowed myself the flexibility to dive in whenever inspiration struck. This fluidity in scheduling helped me maintain a sense of spontaneity and prevented creative burnout.

What was different about this process compared to other projects you have worked on for clients? How do you bounce creative ideas around and get feedback when you are working on your own?

Working on a personal project like this allowed me to approach creativity in a different way to typical client projects. There were no external constraints or expectations to adhere to, no client feedback to consider. This freedom enabled me to fully unleash my imagination and push the boundaries of my creativity. I found myself experimenting more, taking risks and exploring unconventional ideas without fear of judgement or criticism.

Of course I had my doubts, as we all do, but when I was unsure about an idea or concept, I simply bounced creative ideas off friends. Their feedback and insights always help me to gain perspective and refine my ideas, ensuring that my creative vision remains clear and focused. Overall, I think letting go of deadlines and other constraints allowed me to fully immerse myself in the creative process without feeling pressured or restricted. It was liberating to be able to focus solely on unleashing my creativity and exploring new artistic possibilities.



So, without the stress-triggers of any client- projects ( deadlines, budgets, briefs, etc..) what challenges did you encounter during the creative process in the representation of abilities like Allomancy, Feruchemy and Hemalurgy?

The creative process mirrored my usual approach when collaborating with clients: generating the idea, crafting a script-storyboard, developing style frames, creating animatics, and finalizing shots. Always experimenting with different visual styles and techniques, and refining the designs until they captured the essence of the books. However, for this project, the primary goal was to depict the essence of the books through the three distinct types of magic featured in the novels. To achieve this, I carefully selected specific elements to symbolize each type of magic.

To symbolize Allomancy, I chose bottles and coins; for Feruchemy, I went with bracelets, and for Hemalurgy, nails and blood. Additionally, I incorporated elements from the story, like a book one of the characters is writing and a picture of a flower associated with another character. You can really see the correlation between these elements and the narrative once you dive into the book. For the project title, I crafted an effect to make it appear as if it was vanishing, resembling the evanescent nature of mist. Although the initial spark came to me while reading the novels, I really got into the creation process after finishing the Mistborn saga. Challenges in representing abilities like Allomancy, Feruchemy, and Hemalurgy stemmed from the need to convey abstract concepts in a visually compelling way. Balancing fidelity to the source material with creative interpretation required careful consideration and experimentation. Finding the right balance between realism and stylisation was also a creative challenge.

Had you had similar ideas in the past? and if so, what was it about this one that made you go for it?

This particular project resonated with me because of my deep-rooted passion for fantasy literature and visual storytelling. In the past, I’ve had similar ideas for personal projects, but often put them aside due to time constraints or logistical challenges. What set this particular idea apart was its strong resonance with my interests and creative vision. It felt like the perfect opportunity to bring my love for Mistborn and visual storytelling together in a meaningful way.

As a curiosity, these three images were used to promote the video and each one represents one of the magics of the book.


What are your plans for this project? Will this be start of a new way of doing things for you?

I intend to share it with fellow Mistborn fans and enthusiasts of fantasy literature. While it may not have economic implications, it serves as a testament to my passion for creativity and storytelling. In the future, I hope to continue to explore similar projects that align with my interests and artistic vision.

You tell us that you are a fan of fantasy books, can you imagine doing a similar project for other genres?

While my love for fantasy literature is evident in this project, I’m open to exploring other genres that I also love, the key is finding stories and themes that resonate with me personally and translating them into compelling visual narratives.



Lastly, you put so much time and energy into this project, what was your reaction when it was finished? Did you learn anything about yourself? Any regrets?!

I experienced a sense of fulfilment and pride in what I had achieved. It may not have been financially rewarding, but the intrinsic value of creating something meaningful to me was immeasurable. I learned a great deal about myself as an artist and storyteller. It reaffirmed my belief in the power of creativity to inspire, connect and evoke emotion. The sense of accomplishment and fulfilment I felt upon completing the project was incredibly gratifying and reinforced my passion for visual storytelling and digital art. Choosing to pursue this passion project over a client job was incredibly rewarding. It reaffirmed my belief in the importance of following my creative instincts and prioritising personal fulfilment over financial gain. While client work is essential for sustaining my business, projects like these serve as a reminder of why I fell in love with art and storytelling in the first place.