New answers tagged patterns
Color Groups or those folders within the Swatch Panel can not contain patterns or gradients. If you are trying to add a pattern to a color group, that's not going to happen. If you are trying to add a pattern swatch to an existing .ase swatch file, you need to add all the existing swatches to the Swatch Panel, then add your new pattern and then resave the ...
In addition to @Da01's great suggestion regarding envelope distort.... Illustrator does also have Warp Tools: Which can allow you to manually push/pull things around: I do also agree with DA01 that it looks more like a scanner and movement overall though.
In vector illustration software (such as Adobe Illustrator) you'd likely do this via envelop distort. This particular example, however, appears to have been done via analog means. It looks like someone took an image, placed it on a scanner, then moved it while it was being scanned.
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