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Meet Nico Marks aka The Positive Papi

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nico Marks.

Nico, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started off shooting hella SoundCloud artists and music videos in college to pay for day to day stuff! From that, I was able to link with some bigger names that really help put me on as a creative in the scene for a little while. I eventually left music (no one ever REALLY leaves music) and went to advertisement where I worked at a couple of agencies and with brand such as Nike, Interscope, Dreamville, Acura, Mitsubishi Motors and more! During this time, I grew and developed my art from being just a creative but actually to a creative problem solver! It was recently that I left advertisement and dived into the cannabis industry as a creative director for an up and coming manufacturer, distributor, and branding agency. My favorite dad joke is, “I’ve moved on to greener pastures” hahaha.

Has it been a smooth road?
Hell no! Im only 25 and lost my first corporate job in advertisement when I was 22 all while my wife (girlfriend at the time) was in preterm labor with our first son. I’ll never forget getting that call and walking into the UCLA Reagan Hospital corridor and hearing them say today was my last day. It was June 15th. I had no job; a kid on the way; and had to provide. We were about to be hit with medical bills from the pre-term labor and labor. We had car insurance, phone bills, student loans, rent and just the basic necessities that already needed to be paid. At that time we were already surviving off of Top Ramen and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I was truly terrified and felt like I had failed my family. I walked back into the room where my girlfriend was and heard my son’s heartbeat on the monitor and instantly knew failure was not an option. So, I did what I only knew how to do, shoot. I truly believe God blessed me during this time. I booked Nike, a couple of album covers, a Chick-fil-a campaign and more. I provided for my little family for four months off of freelancing and grinding. It was terrifying. I look back at it now and am so grateful for that moment in my life because it made me into a better father, husband, and man in general. It helped me realize that life never goes as you planned and you cannot control what happens, but you can control how you react.

Please tell us about The Positive Papi.
The Positive Papi is my personal brand I began to develop when I was going through severe depression earlier on this year. I couldn’t figure out how to get out of it, but one day a buddy of mine was going through stuff and out of nowhere I gave this inspirational speech and helped him. After that happened I had that moment from the Grinch when his heart grew ten times bigger hahah After that I decided to start dropping morning inspirational videos while in traffic and it sort of just caught on. I saw that through me inspiring others and helping them with their struggles was helping me with mine at the same time!

As a branch of The Positive Papi I recently started a podcast, called Papi and Friends. This podcast is where I smoke some tree, or drink coffee, tea, or alcohol with a creative and simply talk about their work and life. So far we have four episodes out and I drop a new one each Friday! The whole goal is to inspire other upcoming creatives that they too can make it. It’s been such an amazing opportunity to meet creatives and be inspired by their amazing stories. All at the same time I get to do everything I love, shoot portraits of each creative; talk with dope people; and inspire the listener. It’s really been a blessing.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Cannabis…is only going up from here.

In regards to photography and podcast work, I only see it growing more and more. People love to learn and that is why podcasts are so crucial today. In our fast everyday lives sometimes all we have for inspiration is playing a podcast in traffic.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
My profile photo is from the homegirl @sneakermeek

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