Draw a new shape that is as big as your document and send it to the back (Command/Ctrl+Shift+[). This will act as your background so make it whatever colour you want. Lock the layer to avoid selecting it later. Now select the whole graphic and copy it by holding down alt and moving it.
Once you’ve released the object, group it by going to Object>Group. This will enable you to select the whole object again while aligning it to the other graphic and save you the headache of having to select each element again.
Because of the complexity of the graphics, the snap to point function might not ensure that your graphics land in exactly the right place. A good way to line them up is to zoom in and turn on outline view by hitting View>Outline and aligning the corresponding guide shapes.
Once you’re happy that you’ve tiled your graphic onto a large enough area, you need to go through it and fix any mistakes and inconsistencies. Because of the vernacular nature of this method, some elements are likely to overlay where they shouldn’t and some elements may get lost. To fix this you will need to ungroup all of the objects by selecting one group at a time and going to Object>Ungroup. Then, go through your graphic and move elements up and down until you’re happy with it.
WHO: Ben Beach is a supremely talented illustrator and designer, and co-founder of the studio ilovedust. Clients range in size and are dotted around the globe. For each, the team aims to provide creative solutions to all sorts of briefs, and offer loads of personality.
SOFTWARE: Adobe Illustrator
TIME TO COMPLETE: Three hours