I want to cut the overlapping hands and legs from the circle but want to keep the head part. Any idea on how to do this? This is my second day on Illustrator, sorry if the questions sounds kinda dumb.references


2 Answers 2


I would use a Clipping Mask which is non-destructive and means you don't have to cut, remove, or otherwise alter any part of the existing artwork.

  • Select the circle
  • Choose Edit > Copy
  • De-select All (so nothing is selected)
  • Choose Edit > Paste in Front
  • Using the Add Anchor Point Tool (or the Pen Tool)
    add new anchor points to this new circle near the head.
  • Move the new anchors so the associated path goes around the head.
  • Select All
  • Choose Object > Clipping Mask > Make

enter image description here

I just used the raster image in the question, so my new circle isn't as precisely positioned as it would be if copy/pasted in the actual vector file.


It's either:

  • making a copy of the bottom layer and a copy of the top layer, select both top and bottom layer, and use pathfinder's intersect >> select both the copy of top and bottom layer, and use pathfinder's exclude, ungroup the result, and get rid of the parts you do not need. this will look fine, but the parts will be separated. if you would rather them not be separated, then
  • select both top and bottom layer, use the shapebuilder tool, select the parts you want to have separated/removed, and then delete it.

Hope this helps.

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