I know I have been in this situation many times — and email comes in and someone has a project with a small or non-existent budget. Usually it’s a personal project. Usually it’s for an existing piece of artwork.
Since most of the work on my website and blog are commisioned projects for clients, it’s easy enough to say no — the artwork they’re asking about was created for a client’s logo or mascot character and is not available to use by someone else.
But I do have some non-client work on my site, and this is where the free use issue comes in.
Tom Richmond, quoted over at The Daily Cartoonist, says
It would be so easy to just say, “Yeah, go ahead and use it”. After all, it’s already done and will take you no more time, right? So therefore it has no value?? That is the perception of many would-be users and sadly of some creators.