Creating an MC Escher-esque Shape in Illustrator

In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques episode, Deke shows you how to create an interlocking shape that will eventually become a hex patterned homage to MC Escher.

Using Adobe Illustrator and a handy hexagonal guide, Deke shows you how to create dynamic rotations for each side of the hexagon, not only ensuring that your image will eventually interlock with itself, but allow you to change your mind about the shape down the road.

A hex shape interlocking with itself

So, if Deke’s troglodytes aren’t your up of tea, you could do something closer to Escher’s clowns (tessellating clowns are even scarier!)

Escher's interlocking clowns

Or adapt the techniques to a quad pattern to make something like these lovely calming fishes:

Interlocking MC Escher fish

If you’re a member of, Deke’s got an exclusive follow-up movie this week in which he shows you how to make sure your subjects rotate with all their (crazy) detail intact. (Hey, are those dudes wearing monocles?) If you’re not a member, you can get a free 10-day trial at

Detail on an interlocking pattern in Adobe Illustrator

And next week we’ll see how it all comes together in a mesmerizing tessellating pattern.

Deke’s Techniques, showing you how to spin your absurd world in complete interlocking precision.

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