This has been making the rounds for the past week or so, and for good reason. I see more and more people willing to sell themselves short for the promise of exposure. Hell, every now and then I get e-mails asking me to work for free, or for the possibility of rev-share. These people may forget artists have bills to pay as well.
Anyway, take a look. Have respect for yourself. Your time and talent is valuable.
Here's another example of artists being taken advantage of.
This guy, Christopher Gregorio, pushes companies to go to DeviantArt to find artists. Why? They're cheap and naive (his words). Artists on DA seem to charge way, way less than most professionals. I don't necessarily think charging less for personal commissions is a big deal, but if it's a studio, reconsider. These people have bigger budgets and are being paid themselves. There is no reason for you not to be paid appropriately as well.
A piece from his article:
"How to find an artist:
I recommend looking through art sites such as Deviantart for an artist which suits your taste, or any other site that has a decent art community such as Newgrounds. There's a few reasons you want to find an artist this way. First of all, they're cheaper. These guys aren't used to making a lot of money for their work so they will be more appreciative of the chance even if they are being payed slightly less than what professionals are payed. Second of all, they're better. The quality of art you can find through this method is pretty amazing, and the vast amount of artists guarantee you will find something that suits your tastes and needs. Unless you have a specific price you want to pay in mind, ask THEM what they are willing to charge for the project. This usually causes people to give offers that are lower than what you normally pay, and will make them happy."
Think twice if this guy approaches you. His company name is Kaitol Flash Development.
Anyway, the point is stand your ground. I'm glad that this issue is finally being discussed because it is a huge problem. You're talented and worth appropriate compensation.