Father Jim Hastings:
Drawing through pain
When Zoe died, Jim Hastings had been appointed as bishop of their church. He helped balance the budget, sat up front and taught during services, and he spent one night a week at the 500-member church helping others work through their problems.
“If I had nothing to do, it would have been terrible,” he says. “It took me out of what I was dealing with to know there are other things happening in the world.”
But he couldn’t continue helping others without finding a way to deal with his own emotions. After Zoe died, her father decided to draw every day. He is an art teacher at Merriman Park Elementary in Lake Highlands, and he has painted murals all over Dallas and illustrated several books.
He committed to drawing a picture of one of his family members every day. The other Hastings children are Hannah, 18, Tristan, 15, Ruby, 11, and Olive, 5.
Since then he has made more than 900 drawings of family members, all in simple ballpoint pen, but the emotional range and power of the drawings (which can be found on Instagram @jhastings40) is captivating.
He kept the practice up when his mother was diagnosed with cancer last year, sketching her each day until she died six weeks later. His father had died a few months before Zoe.
Drawing helped Jim realize how much he still has left, and it inspired him to make sure he uses his time productively.
“I see drawings, and they take me to a certain point in life,” he says. “They definitely helped me focus any anxiety, nervousness, worry or whatever. Life doesn’t stop. It was a way for me to keep moving forward. If I didn’t start making pictures I might stop completely.”