Punching holes in a shape that is already altered with pucker & bloat

I have a flower created with pucker and bloat applied to a pentagon. I am trying to punch out circles and ellipses from it to make areas of transparency for the stamens of the flower. However, when I try to use minus front shape mode with pathfinder, it punches out puckered/bloated shapes instead of the simple circles and ellipses I’m trying to use. Please help!

Is it possible (and usually done) to create such grainy effect in Illustrator?

Sharing some illustrations from Handsomefrank agency. If you see them, all have dotted / grainy colors. I’ve highlighted the thing I want to ask about by yellow color. It’s not limited to one artist. For example, you can see this artist’s work also, where in some illustration you would find similar grains or grainy gradient … Read more