How to Create a Wallpaper Pattern for Your Phone

Artist Martina Martian is well known for the brightly colored illustrated quotes, digital stickers, and GIFs that she shares on social media platforms; her viral creations have earned her collaborations with Snapchat, Nike, and other global brands. In this easy-to-follow tutorial, she walks us through her process—using Adobe Illustrator CC and Illustrator Draw—for creating a repeating pattern that you can use as a home screen for your phone.


Start by creating your illustrations. I used Illustrator Draw to make my base image, and then I sent it to Adobe Illustrator on my desktop. (Tap the Export icon in the corner and then select Open In > Adobe Illustrator.)

(Click on the image to watch a brief video of Martian’s process in Illustrator Draw.)


Once your drawing opens in Illustrator, create a new artboard that is the size of your mobile device screen. Tap on the canvas with the Artboard tool (shift-O) and choose the appropriate Preset option in the Properties panel (for example, iPhone X).


Draw a colored square with no stroke (change Size, Fill, and Stroke settings in the Properties panel).


If your objects are complex, it’s a good idea to group them (command-G or control-G) before duplicating them. This way, you can edit all the duplicates at the same time, simply by selecting one of them and choosing Global Edit in the Properties Panel.


Fill the square with your objects.


When you’re finished filling your square, select and drag both your square and your drawings into your Swatches panel to create a new pattern swatch (Window > Swatches).


Draw a rectangle covering your art board.


Change the rectangle’s Fill option (in the Properties panel) to your new pattern swatch.


Export your wallpaper: File > Export > Export As. Name your artwork, select the PNG format, and select the Use Artboards option. (This way, only the artwork within your Artboard will be exported as a wallpaper.)

Click on Export, and you are finished! Send your artwork to your mobile device using your preferred method (email or AirDrop, for example), and enjoy your new wallpaper.

(Click on the image to watch a brief video of Martian’s process in Illustrator.)

And now, if you are ready to give this a try, get Adobe Illustrator CC and Adobe Illustrator Draw, and get started!

November 19, 2018