Sure Two persons asked me for free commissions, I told them my time is too precious and the only free stuff I do are art trades. A ton of people want to use my art for non-commercial stuff, half of them walk away with permission O.o I don't allow templates, banners and generally stuff that can be redistributed somewhere, but there should be a couple of weblogs hanging around with my manips used in custom templates for that blog only. There were a few persons who wanted to use my art commercially and I always said no. Nobody offered to pay me for that. O_o
What's funny, the most people want to use my inked stuff as tattoos I usually agree I also did several custom designs. I liked it, but I'm disappointed why nobody ever sent me a photo of their tattoos. I wonder if they even made these tattoos at all. ._.
Yes, I've been asked quite a few times, and every time I've said no. I've never been asked for a commission, but always to just let someone use my art for a book or album or something, but although they can pay for that they can't afford to pay me. So I say no. It takes my time & money to make the things I do, and no one seems to appreciated it; they just want to use it to their own ends.
Oh, I get that constantly! Usually the request also comes attached to some excuse about "being poor" to be able to pay me, but really hoping that I'll find it in my heart to make them what they want anyway. Sorry, but I'm not running a charity here. No money, no art... period.
Of course, I don't put it quite like that. I just politely inform the person that art is part of how I make my living, so I do not simply give away prints, custom art, or licenses. I then quote them a price on what they originally asked for and let them know they're welcome to contact me in the future if they find that they do have it in their budget to pay me after all.
That seems to be the norm around Deviant Art though. I think a lot of people think of this as a good place to come if you want someone talented, but who is probably willing to give their art away for either nothing or very little. Even people seriously looking to have someone work on a CD cover, book cover, or anything else for commercial purposes seem to feel that way.
I have, however, met more serious clients through freelance job boards, existing client relationships, and so forth that are much more serious about actually paying for what they want though. Not everyone interested in art is as cheap and presumptuous as people are around these parts.