Creature of the Day Brings Positivity in the Pandemic


Hallie Dong

Dong’s Creatures of the Day have been helping to spread positivity and smiles during a difficult time.

Grace Thomas, Staff Writer

In the midst of a time of extreme fear and uncertainty, one student found a unique way to bring a bit of daily positivity–pictures  of cheerful, colorful creatures, hand-drawn and sent out daily. Now, with the pandemic still raging, these drawings continue to spread snippets of joy to more and more people, and have branched out to new platforms and displays. 

The Creature of the Day program started in March of 2020, from a simple drawing idea sparked from a single made up word. Freshman Hallie Dong, the student behind this program, decided to share the first creature she had created. Upon seeing their positive reaction, Hallie began to draw a new creature daily, and Creature of the Day began. 

As Hallie puts it, “Creatures are figments of my imagination coming to life in the form of, well, creatures.” Through Creature of the Day, Hallie aims to reach people of any age who are coming up with their own ideas and encourage them to share their creativity. She also aims to encourage people to draw as a form of self expression, emphasizing the power of art and identity. 

On the topic of goals, Hallie stated: “A big goal of CotD has always been to promote creativity in people of all ages, and help everyone reach their full potential in art, no matter in what way.” Throughout the pandemic, where people often find themselves alone with their thoughts and no ways to express them, she hopes that her creations will inspire others to begin to create and find themselves.

Creature of the Day has grown dramatically since its beginnings in 2020, with over 400 completed creatures and multiple new illustrators. The program now has its own website, Patreon page, and Instagram, all of which can be found through the CotD linktree

Creatures will also now be taking a step into the physical world, with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh MuseumLab in a pop-up exhibit this February 26-28th, including a Creature Creation Station, slideshow displays of the creature archives, and stations for traditional and digital art. This exhibit will be the first time the Creatures have been publicly displayed, and anyone of any age interested in the Creature of the Day program is encouraged to visit. 

Hallie’s determination to make a world of uncertainty a bit more positive has led to a program that reaches hundreds of audience members and will continue to grow, leading more people to self-expression through art and emphasizing the importance of making things colorful when life is bleak.