Could the Width Tool scale Pattern Brush tiles proportionately instead of squeezing them down distortingly?
I'm not sure, if this feature is already there (would be grateful for a response if it already is!). I googled, didn't find anything. It's also too many keywords...
So. The width tool can varyingly alter the width of a stroke to which a pattern brush is applied to. What I have been struggling with, is that, the width tool only squeezes the pattern tiles perpendicular to the spine of the stroke, and thus distorting the proportions and original composition of the pattern tile itself.
Is there a way to perhaps, distort the tiles in a manner that they scale down proportionately, instead of just squeezing down; in accordance to the width tool settings wherever applied? That way working with non-rectangular pattern ideas can be overlapped easily.
Or, alternately, if we had negative spacing option in pattern brushes, that would also be quite useful...
Margaret Trauth commented
I have wanted this so long. You have my upvote.
Egor does make the valid point that it could cause an infinite number of pattern steps if you made the width too thin, there should probably be a minimum pattern size failsafe lurking in the revised pattern brush renderer.
Also here is a negative spacing workaround for pattern brushes that I use regularly:
1. draw the art to be the pattern brush
2. draw a rectangle with no stroke or fill that is smaller than the art, place it behind the brush art
3. make this art into a pattern brush or alt-drag it into the thumbnails of an existing pattern brush in the brush palette.
You can also take an existing pattern brush, drag it onto the artboard, edit the invisible bounding boxes that come along with it, and alt-drag them back into the brush's thumbnails.
Depending on the precise pattern you could also just make a scatter brush the default settings except for a spacing <100.
As much as I like the idea, I should note that these smaller copies would result an infinite number of pattern steps. I doubt it is technically feasible.