Meet Dano Marr, Hyper Island alumnus, painter, and now Program Manager for our Motion Creative program in Stockholm.
His dad, being a black belt in karate inspired young Dano to try to become a karate master himself, sparking a lifelong interest in martial arts. Dano claims that practicing martial arts throughout his life, added a core of self-discipline and a need for refining oneself to his personality.
“I believe that both of these qualities are essential for growth and tie in with what we teach at Hyper Island: self-leadership, team development and more.”
Almost simultaneously as his interest for martial arts, Dano developed a passion for drawing.
“I’ve been drawing since before I remember. I got obsessed with fantasy worlds and drew all kinds of monsters, creatures and fairy tale characters.”
Dano has kept this fascination with magic and myth throughout his life.
“I like to seek and explore the magic in each day.”
He claims that he is still searching for a way to express and further develop his craft in a meaningful way - not just focusing on the skills. Dano believes that your ability to articulate meaning becomes much more profound when you possess extensive skills. However, he also believes that if you don’t have anything meaningful to express, skills don’t matter.
Dano explains that he had a rough patch when he was coming of age.
“I thought life was over after high school. Going to university felt so alien to me. The responsibility scared me. But then I actually I learned to enjoy it. I went through similar feelings when I moved from L.A to Sweden. Both were obviously key moments in my life, giving me space to re-define who I want to be, getting closer to my ideal self.”
Dano first got in contact with Hyper Island when he researched master’s programs. He read a few articles about the methodology that caught his interest and was impressed by the combined focus on coding and leadership as well as personal and team development. Dano, who had been working as a freelancer, felt a need to learn how to work in teams.
He applied to Hyper Island’s Digital Media Creative program instantly.
“I didn’t have a Plan B.”
Luckily, he was accepted and learned pretty quickly that the school was a lot more than what he had expected.
“Even though it’s really hard to explain what my expectations were, they weren’t this. I guess I was just expecting a default, generic school but a bit more rigorous. Hyper Island was totally different from that and that was super refreshing. I fell in love with the school immediately and knew right away ‘I want to work here’.”
A few years later, Dano is now living his dream. He’s the new Program Manager for the Motion Creative program in Stockholm, an opportunity he couldn’t say no to.
“I’m mostly looking forward to helping the students help themselves. I’m just so excited to meet them and get to know them, I really can’t say much else. I want to watch them grow and develop.”
Dano has been working as an assistant Program Manager and Admissions Manager for several months. So far his favorite experience working with students has been a reflection session.
“It was a midway reflection where the students reflected on who they’ve been up until that point and who they wanted to become moving forward. It was a super powerful moment where a lot of people connected. I’m super passionate about reflection, sharing and connecting. It’s incredible to be able to do it with our students. I love that about Hyper Island. There is such a wide spectrum of available experiences, with the chance to dig deep into many of them as well.”
Finally, Dano and I talked a bit about inspiration and passion.
Dano, What inspires you?
There are a couple of things that inspire me. One thing is this moment of connection that can happen when you talk to another person about their experiences and life in general. There is this sudden clarity, where I suddenly feel like I can really see who they are that really gets me. Lately, I’ve also gotten really inspired by psychology and Norse Mythology.
So what does inspiration mean for you?
It’s when one side of me wants to go down the path of ‘what does it mean’ and the other side just feels super-energized and excited for what’s ahead.
What are you most passionate about in life?
Well, there is the ideal me and I’d like to say that the ideal me is after some kind of objective truth but the actual me, who I am on a daily basis, is really passionate about drawing and learnings and helping people - facilitation, connection, growth and the wisdom connected with it - I’m passionate about that.