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Fort Wayne native, Disney animator finds new creative challenge in “The Art of Potty Training”

Adam Green discusses his latest project illustrating children’s book
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 6:16 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2021 at 6:35 PM EST
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BURBANK, Calif. (WPTA21) - Adam Green has always pursued his passion for drawing and animation, since his first exposure to the art at Elmhurst High School.

Years after graduating from the University of Saint Francis, he found himself with one of the most prestigious jobs in his career field: Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Over the past decade, his latest work includes animating characters like Olaf, Heihei, Wreck-It-Ralph, and many more — the most recent in Disney’s Encanto, out in theaters Nov. 24.

Because his job has peaked curiosity in those he meets, Green began an Instagram page, giving followers a behind-the-scenes look at his craft. But it would be a message from a stranger, that would take the Fort Wayne native down a different creative path.

“He was like, ‘Do you ever illustrate children’s books?’” Green told us. “I was like, ‘Well I haven’t, but I’d always be willing to try!’” The book in question: What’s Your Poopoo Face? “That’s sort of the magic of the internet, you know?” Green continued. “It sort of connects people in ways you didn’t predict.”

And the silly subject matter didn’t deter him — in fact if anything, it interested him more.

“This is totally on brand for me, exactly what I would like to make,” he told us. “The humor and the lightheartedness, and the normalizing of what happens when you go to the bathroom kind of spoke to me and I thought, this is something I could do some really fun illustrations for and sort of bring it to life.”

Green would partner with Z.P. Phillips, and author Jason Mesnick — who many may know from his stint on The Bachelor. Mesnick’s idea from the book, came to fruition years after using the very concept of each person’s “poopoo face” to help his son Ty potty train.

The struggle, still fresh in Adam Green’s mind. “I had just recently potty trained my daughter,” he shared. “When she was going through potty training, there was a lot of fear involved, of like ‘what is this new thing we’re doing?’”

The animator, now illustrator, began his work in early 2020. “It kind of became my pandemic project, where I would spend my nights working on the pages.” From rough draft, to finished product, each page took about two weeks to complete.

The transition between his two art styles, came pretty easy. “It’s just practice, just like with anything,” he said. “That’s the great thing about being an artist, is that if you try hard and practice a lot — that’s what reaps the rewards. Talent is one thing, but doing the work? That’s what really matters.”

With full creative control of the look, Green was able to put incorporate several personal elements in his life: the LA zoo, his family, his home, and several other secrets. He hopes more opportunities like this, are in his future, “Hopefully this is the first of many, because I love doing it.”

What’s Your Poopoo Face? is released to the public January 25, however pre-sale, signed copies are available for purchase early here.

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