These tips and tricks were really useful and a lot of fun to play around with. I've been using illustrator for a long time, but I haven't really taken the time to learn its secrets. I used most of the tips in these two alternate versions of my project.
I especially enjoyed creating my own pattern brushes. I started with simple triangles and utilized live corners and the pathfinder tools to create some variations. Once I started playing with the blend tool I decided to use a color/shape blend from stars to make another pattern brush. I like that even though it is a multicolor brush, you can adjust the settings so that it can change color using Hue Shift mode. I think the only tips I didn't utilize within this project were 3, 5, and 10.
A peek at some of the building blocks and unused experiments.