A local artist was just published in a worldwide publication, and she has only been drawing for a couple of years.
Ciara Paubel, 19, recently entered her art in a submission contest for Clubhouse Magazine’s 2018 Member’s Mag. The magazine is the official publication for the radio drama Adventures in Odyssey and is filled with content for children ages 8 to 12, including stories, recipes, jokes, and puzzles that are used to teach moral lessons from a Biblical view.
Ciara said the publication holds a special spot in her heart, as she has subscribed to the magazine for about the last 10 years. As a child, Ciara began listening the the Adventures in Odyssey show with her mother, and has been addicted ever since.
Since her first issue, Ciara said she has eyed the submission listings on the back of the Clubhouse booklets. However, while Ciara has always been an artist, her craft never allowed her to submit to the work.
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“I just love clay,” Ciara said.
At a young age, Karen Paubel, Ciara’s mother, said she noticed Ciara was an anxious child, who was always very connected with her sense of touch. In hopes of kneading away her daughter’s anxiety, Karen bought Ciara her first set of polymer clay. Ciara was five at the time.
Ciara molded herself into a young artist. She constantly created intricate figurines with delicate details. Paubel also started to specialize in remaking recycled materials into decorative home goods. From meticulously arranged flower hairpieces made from old hair clips, to miniature pie magnets made from old bottle caps, Ciara’s creative eye and turns ordinary objects into unrecognizable artworks.
In the last 10 years, Ciara’s artwork has won her almost 200 ribbons in county fairs and contests. She also vends some of her items out of the Chocolate Affair in Highland.
“She’s really refined it and it’s just her gift,” Karen said.
However, though she was a successful sculptor, Ciara still had an unchecked item on her bucket list.
“I could never send any of this clay stuff to this magazine,” Ciara said.
About three years ago, Ciara decided experiment with a drawing class offered by her home school co-op.
“I’m like ‘I like art. I like clay. I’ll take it,” Ciara said.
The class showed that Ciara’s artistic talent was not limited to sculpting. She started producing sketches, paintings, and charcoal drawings. Anything her teachers told her to do, she ran with, and made it better. Soon her drawings were getting ‘Best in Show’ ribbons alongside her sculptures.
Then in February, as she was thumbing through her newest copy of Clubhouse, she saw the magazine was accepting entries from readers for its 2018 August. It was time for her submission.
“It’s really rare that you can get in. So many people enter,” Karen said.
The magazine is published worldwide, and Ciara said that about 800 to 1,000 people enter works for this specific edition. She decided to submit a drawing of a bluejay and a sketch of the Adventures in Odyssey characters.
A few months later, Ciara was commissioned by the magazine to illustrate a story submitted by another reader, and she would have two weeks to do it.
Ciara chose colored pencils as her medium of choice, and designed a scene of two Adventures in Odyssey characters at a birthday party. She sent it in and waited.
“She checked the mail everyday, waiting for the magazine to come,” said Kerry Paubel, Ciara’s father.
Then the magazine came in the mail, Ciara said she did not know how to feel when she saw her published work. She said she just stared at the printed page, soaking in every detail.
“You see it and it’s all printed and you’ve been waiting like months to see it in a magazine,” Ciara said.
Ciara, who just started studying history at Southwestern Illinois College, said she hopes to incorporate art into her future career. In all honety, Ciara said her ideal career would be to sit at her clay table all day, creating little masterpieces while listening to radio dramas. Other than that, she said she is not sure what she wants to do. However, he hinted that writing a polymer clay book of her own could be in the works as she figures it out.
“We’re just proud of her,” Karen said.