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G to G Coaching Session: Tax Preparation for Artists and Freelancers

SSCAC is thrilled to partner with ILA Creative Studio for their G-to-G Coaching Sessions, in a 3-part series of artist development resource workshops that intend to help close the gap of limited, sustainable business resources, specific to the needs of Black artists.


You were just paid 7K to create an illustration for a major brand…they sent you a W-9…why?

Or picture this, Nike hired you to do a spoken word voiceover in their upcoming commercial, you were paid 5K and forgot to tell Uncle Sam. Yikes!

Better yet, you composed a score for the latest Disney film and were paid 10K, how much of that belongs to you?

We have some insights for you!

During this 3-part series, we will hold space for artists and freelancers to learn and grow in key areas of interest. So much of our time as practicing artists goes into actually creating our wonderful art, but we MUST create time where we learn about the necessary business etiquette.

Each session will be led by coaches and teaching artists who will provide insight on a specific topic, with the intention of assisting Black artists to work toward achieving sustainability in their field.

ILA Creative Studio’s G-to-G Coaching Sessions are an opportunity for professional practicing artists (18+) to have space to learn and grow in their respective fields – led by a mentor or coach that provides specific insights on a specific topic. These sessions help to translate effective ways for Black artists to achieve sustainability in their fields.

First up, “Tax Preparation for Artists and Freelancers”, led by Shana Isom! Where she’ll cover all things tax and financial management.


Shana Isom has been working in the accounting industry since graduating from the University of Illinois in 2008. Shana’s professional experience and scholastic achievements influenced her to join Kerry Van Isom and Associates. Through her public accounting experience, Shana has gained technical training on proper accounting standards and practices.

Shana tackles common tax situations as well as complex accounting scenarios for individuals, businesses, and service organizations. As a licensed CPA, she provides audit services for non-profit organizations and consulting services on deficiencies in internal control management.

Shana specialization in financial management and tax debt resolution for businesses and individuals, has solidified her as a trusted business consultant, and continues to provide clients with consultations that ensure long-term proper business management.

Snacks and sponsored tea will be provided by Joy & Magic Tea. Very limited spots are available. Stay tuned for remaining sessions!


Works in EMERGENCE are diverse in their subject matter and media, but a few themes reappear throughout. Working in abstraction or in the traditionally peaceful genre of still life, artists like William Carter, Allen Stringfellow, and Jonathan Green express themes of interiority or sociability, history or modernity. Notably, Stringfellow and Ralph Arnold both experimented with media and materials and worked extensively in collage, which allowed them to combine abstract design, figurative imagery, and on occasion political ideas.

Viewers typically expect Black artists to focus on particular aspects of their social and political identities within their work. Where might those expectations come from? Still life, abstraction, and collage may express many different things about artists’ interior lives and their visual and social observation, whether connected to public manifestations of identity or not.

William Carter’s mid-century still life Untitled presents a group of vibrantly colored bottles that invite the viewer’s gaze, set against a similarly colorful background with floral elements like grapes and leaves. They give evidence of conviviality and might be interpreted as symbols of social gatherings, but they could also just be a collection of pleasing forms. We might put Carter’s still life in dialogue with that of Jonathan Green, who became close friends with Carter while living in Chicago. Green’s close-up view of an eloquently simple composition presents oranges, a pear, and a lemon in front of two vessels. Works like this piece call the viewer to examine the objects the artist chose to include, to consider how they interact with each other like bodies in space, and to reflect on their meaning within the traditional genre of still life painting.

Collage might suggest the piecing together of identity from different components that might not usually coexist, giving room for more expansive imaginations of meaning than a straightforward representational image might allow. It could also just be an inventive way of combining colors, shapes, and textures. Allen Stringfellow’s Untitled, a collage from 1962, brings familiar motifs from still life—fruit and flowers, desserts and glassware—together with imagery of artist’s models and performers. Layered with paint and tissue paper that frustrate the viewer’s attempt to get clarity on the subject matter, the bursts of form and colors hint at the splashy abstraction of Stringfellow’s untitled, textured painting made from house paint and particulate on cardboard. Here the artist tests commonly found materials to create new textures and plays with the creation of colors and finishes that diverge from “Western” academic painting methods.

In The Waiting, Arnold constructs a large collage from different paper components, lace, and paint. In the piece, elements of European and African art are placed in dialogue with one another, while some figures appear alone and isolated, others in large groups. Without giving easy answers, Arnold implies questions about social issues. Who is waiting, and for what? In his Love Sign II, which bears the words “Love is Universal,” Arnold asserts the equal validity of all types of romantic affection and love, utilizing collage to convey a more straightforward political message.