I'm sure I'm not the first illustrator to have been contacted with a view to creating or providing artwork for free - it happens all the time, usually with a promise of payment further down the line or a potential boost to your career, leading you to bigger and better things.
I almost always decline these offers -in as polite and professional way as possible - but sometimes something comes along that feels a bit more worthy...
I was contacted a while ago by Chris Gunn, who runs the Sub Aqua Society in Leicestershire. He'd come across an illustration I'd done of an octopus for my Bright folio and felt that it would work really well as a mascot. There was no budget, but Chris's enthusiasm for what he was doing really impressed me, and as the artwork only needed a few minor tweaks, I agreed to go ahead with it.
And I'm glad I did - while we all need money to pay the bills and feed our families, it also feels good to help out where you can. Maybe one day, someone out there will return the favour.
More about the Sub Aqua Society
The Sub Aqua Society is initially being setup as a community group in Leicestershire, next to the world famous Stoney Cove dive centre.
Our vision is to provide funding to offer free diving courses at Stoney Cove for teens/young adults that are passionate about the Sub Aqua world and have as yet not got their feet wet and can't afford or can't quiet afford to do it. With the aim of producing our next generation of marine environmentalists, scientists, engineers, explorers and so on and so forth.