San Marcos’ most edgy and inspiring: Luminescent Magazine

By Felicity Guajardo and Adrianna Elias

This is a broadcast-style news story about the launch of San Marcos publication, Luminescent Magazine’s third issue ‘Class of 2023’. The launch party took place at Alchemy Records on Dec. 1st.

SAN MARCOS — For a long time, Texas State students have been artistically expressing their overflowing ideas of fashion and pop culture trends on campus. Finding a place to pour these ideas into a medium is also a popular activity for students.

However, where would be a place that had no limitations and took risks?

This is where Luminescent enters the spotlight. 

Luminescent Magazine originated about a year ago in San Marcos and was founded as a place for creatives to come together, share iconic designs and themes, capture and organize them into a single issue, and inspire individuality. Among Luminescent Magazine, there are other popular publications such as LEWK Magazine and Her Campus Magazine at Texas State. While these publications are registered as a Texas State student-organization, Luminescent Magazine is not. 

Luminescent is independently run by Texas State students. 

This means that the magazine does not have restrictions given by Texas State on what they can post or distribute. The magazine also does not receive funding from the university as a student organization would. 

Despite this, the Luminescent team has found a way into the hearts of Texas State students with a bold and fearless style. Their newest issue coming soon includes a 90s punk and school-girl aesthetic called LUMI Class of 2023. 

Going back to the start, Founder and Co-editor in Chief of Luminescent Magazine, Mya Leffler, started the magazine on a whim when she messaged president of Luminescent Magazine Brian Willery via Instagram. 

Brian said that this interaction was scary at first since they only had mutual friends, but fate had other plans. Brian and Mya have now created a successful medium, for not just students, but for San Martians and Mermaids to feel seen. Brian describes the magazine as “an editorial piece.” 

“I also say it’s kind of a collective as in it’s not, it’s not precisely fashion. It doesn’t fit into a category. It’s kind of a big group of creatives,” Brian said. 

Now, the magazine has grown quickly with such an overwhelming response from people wanting to join and have seen how successful the magazine has become. 

Brian and Mya conducted interviews for the first time along with starting an application process to maintain the outpouring amount of interest. 

But with success, you will encounter obstacles. 

“I’m going to be honest, there’s a lot of trial and error. We’re only in our first year,” Mya said. “I would just say that we just kind of like all come together to run things and make them work as best as possible.” 

Brian also added to the conversation, “there’s a lot of hiccups. Like we’ve had a lot of hiccups and I feel like it’s important to be honest about that, especially in this setting because I feel like it’s discouraging people, like, oh, my God, what if mess this up?” 

With 80 people on the team including co-editors, everyone comes together to make Luminescent’s magazine shoots come to life. 

Including helping fund lively and unique concepts. 

Mya explains that she likes to keep low-budget and even use clothes from their own personal closet to complete looks for the shoots. Brian also said that the Luminescent team is keen on using their resources and they usually find areas around San Marcos that work best for their shoots. 

While running this publication independently, Luminescent has fully been in the hands of college students. Sponsors have just been available as an option for them. 

Mya shared her thoughts about what funding looks like for Luminescent and how cheap options can sometimes be best. 

“I think it’s so unrealistic to go to a studio that’s like $500 and you have designer clothes, and you have the best makeup and it’s just not realistic. I don’t think that’s who we are as a magazine. I think that the one thing I love about it is we’re real. And what’s real is, we keep everything as low budget as possible.” 

Luminescent takes inspiration from anywhere and everywhere. For their second issue, they have given a preview of a mid-90s themed aesthetic. 

 “I would say for me personally, I would say Mean Girls is where I got one of my inspirations like the very 2000’s or late 90’s,” Mya said. 

Brian also mentioned, “I thought about “Hole” a lot and just very like riot girl bands from that era.” 

Luminescent shared that they love to make TV and music references in their shoots and are taking inspiration from artists such as Olivia Rodrigo in the latest issue. Pinterest has also proved useful in searching for inspiration. As much as they love other magazines like LEWK, they strive to build original ideas within the team and take fewer ideas from other publications. 

Luminescent Magazine is a fresh new take on what it means to be creative. Using your resources and taking the initiative to pursue a big project is all it takes. 

“I think that’s the main thing is I just want anyone to look at the magazine and be like I could do this too,” Mya said. 

What’s next for Luminescent Magazine? 

In the long term, Mya believes that San Marcos is Luminescent’s home, and she doesn’t see the magazine moving exclusively under Texas State. 

“I mean I haven’t even really looked into or know much about what would happen if we were through Texas State. But I feel comfortable just like not having someone over me being like, ‘hey, you can’t do that’ because then I’m going to be like ‘yeah I can’ and do it anyways,” Mya said. 

In the short term, Luminescent is hosting “Luminescent Garage Sale” on Nov. 4th at Alchemy Records. 

The third issue LUMI Class of 2023 is launching at the end of this year. 

This is an audio story featuring three members of Luminescent Magazine who have three different roles and stories about how they got involved with Luminescent or how they have each found a place where their talents and creativity can soar.

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