Illustrator's Transform effect makes it quick and easy to create a pattern from any object. Add some careful highlighting and gradients, and you've got a metallic industrial background.
Cheryl Graham trained as a traditional artist in drawing and painting. These days she spends more time in front of the computer than the easel. She's been using Adobe Illustrator for over 15 years. Her Illustrator work has been featured in the "The Adobe Illustrator WOW! Book" and "Real World Illustrator."