How to Become a Graphic Designer in Morocco

It is undeniable that in the last few years, there has been a rise in the idea of freelance and side hustle. This can be accredited to multiple factors like the ongoing trend of entrepreneurship and hustle culture or the entire system of late-stage capitalism.

Whatever reasons they may be, I want to focus on the state of freelance in Morocco. The rise of this movement has only been amplified and encouraged by the government with the promotion of the auto-entrepreneur program, which is the next step forward for young small business owners and part-time freelancers.

To understand this wonderful industry as well as its state in Morocco, I sat down with VioletGraphica, a wonderful Moroccan graphic designer, and learned what it means to be a graphic designer and how to become a successful one.

Introduce Yourself

VioletGraphica is a graphic designer, illustrator, and entrepreneur who has been a freelancer (now business owner) for nearly a decade. Her work has helped brands from Europe to the Middle East visually stand out.

Her story as a graphic designer begins during her last year of high school when she wanted to become an interior designer. However, she discovered graphic design and fell in love. Since then, she studied in a school dedicated to graphic design where she learned more about the industry and developed her style. 

Ever since I was a kid, I would analyze my environment in every detail, especially colors and logos.

During her time at design school, she was taught by a passionate special teacher/artist which made her love graphic design even more.

I’m forever grateful for this teacher. They would often review case studies of design projects. Things like the scope of the project, mindset of the designer, and inspiration; That was more interesting than the visuals.

Do You Consider Yourself a Freelancer?

I am a business owner rather than a freelancer. I feel that freelancing has a bad reputation for laziness and low-quality work done in pajamas. I am different than that, I adopt a serious working mindset that is fully committed to the work.

When Did You Start Doing Graphic Design?

Violet started an illustrator position at a print agency and she hated every moment of it. Her work was unappreciated and belittled, they constantly reminded her that she was unimportant and replaceable, and was constantly put under stress.

Back then, being an illustrator or graphic designer meant nothing. We were not respected nor valued and no one knew what we did. I honestly wish that no designer goes through an experience like mine.

Despite this toxic workplace, Violet had strong mental fortitude and reminded herself that her skills and work were well above her job. Eventually, she trained herself to block the negative words.

I stayed at that job for 5 years. Looking back at it now, it is easy to say that I should have left but past me felt that there wasn’t any other alternative. I used to feel that there were no other opportunities.

In spite of this, Violet’s passion for graphic design motivated her to tackle work different from her responsibilities.

In my first job, our tasks were quite simple: prepare files for printing, which doesn’t have much room for creativity. I voluntarily started creating visuals for the company, because I was quite bored with my daily tasks.

Even though it wasn’t part of my job description, neither was it appreciated by my boss, I kept on creating. It was my way of having fun at work and it allowed me to improve my skills so much during the 5 years I worked there.

When Did You Start Thinking About Freelance?

Violet was not a stranger to freelance, she did some gigs during her first job at the print agency. But it wasn’t consistent enough to make it a full-time thing. But everything changed after she changed jobs.

My second job was at an ad agency. I felt more free and peaceful at work despite its flaws, but it was definitely better than the previous one.

Like other talented individuals and entrepreneurs, Violet felt as if she hit a ceiling to her skills and talents, where the job did not allow her to grow and break that cap.

It was very boring working at that advertisement agency. The office felt populated with robots rather than workers. Everyone just tapped away at their keyboards, there was no drive, no passion, just mindless work.

It was during this period that Violet started growing her Instagram account that was dedicated to sharing her life and graphic work. That account played a huge role in her future career especially after quitting.

How Did You Feel About Quitting Your Job and Becoming an Independent Designer?

I did not feel bad about leaving my full-time job. I had enough social media presence and I was receiving a good amount of freelance work to fund me. It was a natural evolution of my career.

What Inspired The Name VioletGraphica?

People like to think that my name was carefully crafted and it means something complex. But in reality, it is simpler than that.

When I first started posting my art online, it was on DeviantArt. They asked me for a username and my mind chose Violet because it is my favorite color, then graphic since I was studying graphic design.

What Was It Like During The First Few Months As Violet Graphic?

During the first few months as a full-time freelancer, Violet felt clueless and lost, as if every move she made did not contribute to anything (that is if she knew what her next move would be).

Like I keep on saying, any project will not see success during its first months and Violet was no different. She did not receive a steady amount of clients and those who worked with her were a friend of a friend of a friend…

My Instagram page was my main source of attracting clients. I never used platforms like Fiverr or Upwork. Instead, my reputation grew through word of mouth and recommendations.

Apart from all the added responsibilities, Violet also had to learn new skills like administration, networking, advertising, client management, organization, and more.

The sudden shift from strictly doing graphic design to juggling other work like admin and marketing on top of design made me feel like I lacked structure and I hated that feeling.

How Were Your Early Projects

To expand her work experience and portfolio, Violet did a lot of favors and work for free. This is something she recommends more designers/freelancers do, as it helps them acquire work experience and meet new people to network with.

When Violet did finish a project, she would always ask for client feedback and listen to critique. Through these interactions, She ensured that clients were satisfied, and that was a positive sign for her.

One of the most underrated skills in graphic design is the client experience. I make sure that clients approve of my work and maintain a good connection with them.

Violet shares our opinion that: it is easier to get rehired by previous clients rather than get recruited by a newer one. To guarantee loyal relationships like these, You should consider the “client experience” as violet puts it.

What Keeps You Motivated

I am a big fan of what I call ‘The Journey’.  I want to share my growth, my failures, and my success so that every person who wants to follow this path can set realistic expectations.

On top of the journey, Violet is also motivated by the responsibility that comes with this work as well as the expectations that come from her followers. This social pressure adds to her progress and growth.

Describe Your Graphic Style

A lot of people tend to associate my work with minimalism. It is a compliment for sure but I don’t like the idea of having one style since it can be uncreative and repetitive. Especially with minimalism since it is a lot of neutral colors.

Instead, Violet detailed that in every project, she defines a strategy for visual elements. Every stroke, asset, and space has a reason for existing, and that level of detail takes a lot of time.

For me, design is like luxury cooking. The Head Chef take their time and carefully adds an ingredient for its taste, so everything has a purpose being there. 

She would then say the following, and to this day I’m not sure if she intended to say it so impactfully, but it managed to convey her passion and love for graphic design.

My style tries to provoke emotions through subtle graphic elements.

For this year, Violet wants to continue experimenting with new vibrant colors and concepts. However, she tries to balance chasing design trends while developing her own style.

Trends come and go and when trends go out of fashion nothing remains but your own style and personality. I think more designers should focus on developing their own style that compliments trends.

Where Do You Get Your Inspiration?

Just like other designers, I use Behance and Pinterest for inspiration. However, I try to stay away from the exact inspiration to avoid boxing myself and stereotypes.

Are Portfolios Necessary?

In Violet’s own words, each graphic designer is in a sea full of other creative designers. Portfolios show who you are and make you stand out from others. They also prove your credibility and experience, unlike some influencers who give others advice without having experience.

Some designers do not want to share their work because they are shy while others are afraid of getting their work stolen. I suffered from both these problems and it is much better to share your work. […] Your confidence reflects on your work and clients can notice it. If you are proud of your work then others will enjoy it.

How Should Beginner Freelancers Handle Clients?

I think new designers should keep a ‘Yes can do’ attitude. You should be honest with clients and warn them if you don’t have the required skills for a project, and always be someone who is willing to learn and adapt.

Her advice ties in nicely with Violet’s mindset of “Every project is a challenge” which is effective in leveling up designers’ skills and confidence.

Some projects might be boring or repetitive. In this case, I recommend creating a challenge for yourself to improve at least one aspect of your work. Be it your logo, your presentation, your mock-up, or client communication.

As mentioned earlier in this article, Violet shares our mindset of creating a pleasant client experience and establishing meaningful relationships with clients.

“When old clients contact me and tell me they see a lot of new improvements in the client process, it makes me super happy.”

How Do You Handle Bad Clients

I always say that “Bad clients are good experiences.” I think it is healthy to try every type of client and learn about them. After a while, You should set boundaries and become more strict.

Violet noted that beginner designers should say yes to all projects to gain experience and experiment with different industries so they can figure out what they like best. 

At a more advanced level, you can be more selective about which projects you take on. She shared a relevant example concerning boundaries: 

I make sure to send clients my welcome guide. It explains everything about my process, what can they expect from working with me, what I expect from them, and all about our policies. Basically, I put everything on the table, so we have a clear understanding from the start and avoid any awkward moments in the middle of the project.

Clients would ask for adjustments just because they can. She noticed that when she set a limit, clients carefully reconsider whether an edit is necessary.

If you have set your boundaries and the client decides to leave, then they probably weren’t good from the start. It’s kind of a filter for both sides.

What is Your Average Work Process

It all starts with client contact. Violet is one of the few lucky personalities who have clients reach out to her rather than the opposite.

Typically, clients find me through Instagram, Tiktok, [notice how they are visual social media platforms], or word of mouth/recommendations.

Following their reach, She sends them a welcome document for them to read and understand everything about her including her work capabilities, rates, boundaries, work process, etc

If everything is approved, the two parties organize a Zoom call and get to know each other and assess if they would get along and understand the project and its requirements.

I like to think from the client’s perspective. For them, they are taking a huge risk by entrusting their project [She said ‘their baby’ too but I think keeping it in brackets here is funnier] to a random person they only saw through social media.

Conversations aside, Violet ensures that clients are doing most of the talking while she listens intently and analyzes their words, figures of speech, and posture. The data she collects through observation helps her craft a presentation in their language.

The reaction I am looking for from clients is “holy shit wow! That’s exactly what I want” Always aim for the wow factor as clients need to be obsessed with their branding.

Once everything is settled and signed, Violet starts on the work which typically takes her 1-2 months from start to finish. This long process is why she avoids projects with short deadlines.

I like to give my projects all the time they need to develop. Which why I don’t accept projects with a super tight schedule. Good design takes time.

Surprisingly, She never had an issue with the long time delivery date. It can be accredited to her welcome guide, which notifies clients from the get-go on the duration of the project.

You would be shocked to know that a project can take even longer, especially if the client is slow to reply or unmotivated.

Contract / Invoice

Before Violet starts doing her graphic design stuff, she personally writes a contract for clients to sign digitally which imposes confidentiality, restrictions, fees, and other legal jargon.

Moreover, she also ensures that clients pay a security deposit so she has reimbursement in case a client cancels mid-project.  On top of that, Violet does not send the final files until everything is paid. Instead, she showcases the work with presentations that show the client what they requested.

Like other Moroccan graphic designers, Violet has the auto-entrepreneur status which legally allows her to write invoices validated with her proper seal and signature. As for tax, graphic designers pay 1% for each month of declared income every quarter year.

Who is Your Favorite Designer 


What Are Your Current Thoughts About The State of Graphic Design in Morocco

Unfortunately, there are a lot of impostors in graphic design. They start designing because they heard it\’s easy money and they idolize the social media lifestyle image. 

However, they only harm this community since low-quality work lowers the status of graphic design in Morocco along with rates. Luckily, these imposters don’t last for long.

To be a designer you need to have a lot of passion. If not, you will quit this career. Even I, consider changing my career path when things become difficult.

Violet passionately insisted on the importance of promoting talented artists to forward the Moroccan design space.

“It’s important to stay humble and keep working super hard. A Lot of people expect amazing results, fame, and admiration while doing the bare minimum. I see this all the time especially when young designers ask me to review their work, and I just don’t see hard work or passion in their work.
Always give 110 %.

She clarified that this harshness is out of tough love. Violet wishes for nothing but growth for the industry which is why she is optimistic about its future and wants to help young talent.

How Do You Handle Imposter Syndrome?

I constantly struggle with imposter syndrome, especially during bad mental health days. Whenever it happens, I reassure myself through the work that I do which makes me proud of myself.

What is Your Best Advice For Beginner Graphic Designers?

Work hard and enjoy the journey. Don’t fixate on results and money, as you never get to relive the current state you are in. The Journey is what matters in the end. Everyone has their journey and people should learn to love the process rather than the result.

A fun thing I noticed about Violet, was that she has a nature of casually saying poster-worthy quotes which she demonstrated on the spot:

We think so much about what’s next but we never enjoy the current moment.

Finally, she shared a bit of underrated advice that took her graphic design skills to the next level. A large part of her talent came from reading case studies during her time at the design school.

Lots and lots of beginner designers only focus on the end results like branding or packaging. But I think that they should see how did the designer get the idea from the start. […] Case studies are a wonderful method of improving your design skills since it transports you to the headspace of that designer.

What is Your Latest Obsession? 

I’m obsessed with enjoying life as it is. I have been trying to find balance in work/life since I have been a workaholic for a while, so I want to enjoy the present more often. Also my recently born nephew, he’s a month old and he is so cute!!!


This sentence marks the 3000-word mark of this article and yet I feel as if this guide tackled only a small part of my conversation with the amazing VioletGraphica. For confession, our interview lasted for hours and if it wasn’t for my dimly lit computer screen on the table, I would have forgotten we were doing an interview for Lessons and Obsessions.

As I mentioned in the beginning, VioletGraphica is a talented graphic designer and illustrator. Her work has inspired multiple people and she promotes young talent in the creative Moroccan field through her social media account.

Hopefully, the article you are reading manages to list some of the insights that can help readers on their own path through freelancing. Be it as a side-gig, full-time, or converting from an office job to pursue your dreams.

This is the part where I conclude things with an inspirational and emotionally captivating paragraph that tells you to chase your dreams. Unfortunately, you won’t get that. Instead, I will leave you with the most important thing I learned from Violet:

Trust the journey.

Oh, make sure to use the smudge tool to smooth out lines and strokes, especially if you use a tablet to draw.

Recent Post

About Me

Abdo spends most of his time either binging Youtube or writing what is on his mind. Hailing from Morocco, this trilingual writer is passionate about video games, entrepreunership, and interesting stories

Follow Me