Illustrator's Distort tools have been around since the application's tenth incarnation. Located underneath the Scale tool in the Tools bar, there are seven Distort tools to choose from - simply hold down your mouse to reveal them and then tear them off the main Tools palette for easy access.
The seven tools are useful for making your vector work look more organic and natural, and they are also quick and fairly easy to work with, creating intricate designs in minutes. On the flip side, however, the Distort tools' ease of use, and the amount of fun you can have with them, means it's all too easy to get carried away, while you should also be warned that they can appear messy and unnatural on their default settings.
This short tutorial will help you better understand Illustrator's Distort tools, their limitations and how to use them effectively. But don't expect to be able to recreate the illustration shown here, because sometimes the Distort tools have a life of their own!