PROJECT 387

Artist Residency, Artist Community

Located on 150 acres of redwood forest, Project 387 provides a multidisciplinary residency program offering a community-based living and working experience for artists in all career stages. The residency is a unique opportunity to delve into the creative process in a focused, exploratory, and rigorous manner while removed from the clamor of urban distractions.

Meet Devin Symons

Devin gave us a glimpse into his creative world from DC. Read on to learn more!

Tell us briefly about the focus of your work. What are some of the themes you are exploring these days?

I am working on a collection of stories, all set in unusual places and dealing with themes of wilderness, journey, loss, absurdity, hunger, belief, and the fantastic. Some of the stories could take place in a reality recognizable as our own, others in a liminal place curved by imagination.

What are you looking at, reading, or listening to right now that is influencing your work or process?

The desert is all around me now, so that is what I hear and see and take in each morning. I’m reading the Collected Fictions of Jorge Luis Borges, and I’m drawing on his ability to combine the mythic, the historical, and the surreal into a fiction that breathes, that feels alive. Spread out around me are Department of Speculation by Jenny Offill, Redeployment by Phil Klay, Tenth of December by George Saunders, Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell, and The Illustrated Guide to Cacti.

What does a typical day in the studio/office look like for you?

Wake early. Hike, climb, soak, or swim. Make coffee. Read. Write. Cook. Eat. Read. Write. Cook. Talk and drink with friends, lie down outside, watch the stars. Read. Sleep. Repeat.

What's the best advice someone has given you about your work? The worst?

I’ve been luck enough to have received mostly good advice.

-       Read everything you can get your hands on.

-       In your own writing, find the heat. When you do, keep pushing at those points, beyond where you feel comfortable and safe. The best writing will come from that place.

-       It takes a while before ability catches up with taste. Keep writing and eventually you’ll get to the good stuff.


I also like what Neil Gaiman says: “Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.”

Are you involved in any upcoming shows/events/happenings?

As part of my current residency in Joshua Tree, I’ll participate in an artist talk in June, and then a joint show/reading in July.

Is there one particular thing you are most looking forward to at Project 387?

Meeting amazing new people in a beautiful place of personal signficance.