To apply a texture to a vector in Adobe Illustrator follow these steps:
- In Adobe Illustrator, add whatever background you would like to use and then lock the layer. We won’t be touching this for the rest of the tutorial.
- Switch to Adobe Photoshop and paint the texture you would like onto the canvas with a brush stroke (or other method).
- Make sure that you disable visibility for the background layer. We are going to be exporting this texture as a transparent PNG.
- To export the texture go to File>Export>Export As
Make sure the Transparency box is ticked. Export the transparent PNG (preferably at a high resolution)
- Go back to Adobe Illustrator and add the newly exported PNG as it’s own layer.
- Add your vector onto a new layer on top of the PNG. Make sure that this vector is a compound path before you continue.
- Select the vector and the PNG (the vector MUST be on top), right click and select Make Clipping Mask.
- To adjust the position of the texture, drill down into the clip group and select it individually as shown.