I haven’t done freelance design since I was a teenager.
The majority of the work I produced in my youth were embroidery designs, logos,
and websites. These works were for paid clients who were a joy to work
with. However, I was under constant pressure from my parents to edit photos and
do work for their own business at no cost. Later, I was even guilted into
designing a bespoke website, logo, and brand image for my sister’s cake
business for a paltry $60.
After years of this I had the good sense to get a degree in engineering, and
adamantly informed my parents that I no longer do design work. I thought it
would end there. Now, years later, my mother wanted a redesign for her website:
Me: Okay so how much are you going to pay me?
Client: I’m not gonna pay you for it!
Me: Then I can’t do it.
Client: You did it for free last time.
Me: I have my own house now. I don’t rely on doing work I don’t
want to do for no pay.
Client: Okay then can you show me how to just take the code and use
it? Isn’t there a way I can just copy their code and put my own pictures in?
She shows me her competitor’s website.
Me: Mom… No.
I explained to her that it was illegal to do so but she was insistent on
stealing the competitor’s web design. The competitor is a stone’s throw from
their own shop and they share the same customer base. She thinks no one would
notice, “as long as we change the colors.”