An AWARD you say? Gosh I’m sure my student loan company will accept that as a payment for sure!
This sort of thing is what’s referred to as “speculative work”, and it is, as a friend of mine put it, “a crock of shit”. Really what they’re saying in these cases is “I don’t actually value your skills enough to pay you. NOW DRAW BITCH!” It’s a bullshit practice and I can’t figure out for the life of me why people continue to think it’s okay.
And yes, the one ad I saw today did describe working for free as “noble”. I wish I had made that up.