Patrick McDonnell: Art Helps Me Lose My Ego

Cartoonist and author Patrick McDonnell is the creator of the award-winning MUTTS comic strip. Syndicated in 1994, MUTTS now appears in over 700 print newspapers worldwide, and has its home on the web at

“My art and spirituality inspire each other. Being an artist made me start thinking about spirituality. When I read The Power of Now, it was the artist in me that understood it. Making art is a prayer and meditation — it helps me lose my ego. So art is definitely part of my spiritual process.” ~Patrick McDonnell

Listen to Patrick’s Art as Worship interview on Empower Radio.

Patrick has received numerous awards for his art, including the National Cartoonists Society Reuben Award for Cartoonist of the Year, and international recognition for his promotion of animal protection.  He has over 20 books in print including The New York Times bestsellers The Gift of Nothing, Hug Time, The Monsters’ Monster and 2012 Caldecott Honor book Me … Jane, which is a biography of the childhood of Dr. Jane Goodall.  In 2009, McDonnell collaborated with The Power of Now author Eckhart Tolle to create Guardians of Being.

Earl, a Jack Russell Terrier, was Patrick’s real life inspiration for MUTTS for 19 years. Patrick says, “I always felt if I could capture any of his joy of life in my comic, I was doing my job.”

Regarding the constant pressure of meeting deadlines, Patrick says, “When you do a daily comic strip, having faith is a big part of it. I have faith in the Creator and in the creative powers that something’s going to happen. I’ve always approached art on a faith basis — not to struggle with it, but to let it happen.”

In addition to his artistic commitments of his daily comic strip, books and the upcoming MUTTS movie, Patrick is a member of the national Boards of Directors for The Humane Society of the United States, The Fund for Animals and The Charles M. Schulz Museum.

Find out more about Patrick and MUTTS at

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your art and your comments on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!

Shelly Ryan: Laughter is the Universal Language

Michele (Shelly) Wendling Ryan is a comedian and an author. She was born funny with a vivid imagination. Being an only child this trait was useful, although her parents never determined how many imaginary siblings Shelly had. By high school, she realized a sense of humor was more than entertaining; it was therapeutic.

“Laughter connects people. Look at how contagious it is. Someone can be laughing and even if you don’t know what they are laughing about, it makes you want to start laughing.” ~Shelly Ryan

Listen to Shelly’s Art as Worship interview on Empower Radio.

Shelly’s spirituality is based in gratitude and she believes her unique blend of humor is a gift from God. Her mission is to make the world a happier, healthier place. Fans comment how laughing with Shelly helps them cope with both emotional and physical pain.

The conglomerate of Shelly’s work, known as Comedylove, includes:

  • Sketch comedy scripts, several  of which have been performed in Atlanta
  • Stand-up comedian (her closest brush with fame was  Nickelodeon at Nite’s  “Funniest Mom Contest”) and emceeing a variety of charitable events in the Southeast
  • Creating ripples of laughter world-wide on the airwaves plus numerous guest appearances; her own comedy cabaret, variety talk show and ovarian cancer awareness podcast Feel Teal Talk
  • Prolific blogger, humor columnist and regular contributor to Feel Teal Magazine
  • Fasten your seatbelts and enjoy her book Floor It! Road Trips Down the Humor Highway
  • She shares her own fairy tale in her CD Shelly’s Nursery Rhymes: The REST of the Story…

Contact Shelly at her website and “like” her Facebook page Shelly Ryan Comedy. Join a group of other lovers of laughter at The Seriously Weird World of Shelly Ryan.

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Recommend an artist for us to interview or share your comments below or on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!