Over-complicating things is a frequent problem, which is different than just saying «simplify it». It speaks of overworking a design and making it go back instead of just looking for the simplest route. There are times that one has to push through a design to get somewhere better. Sometimes the greatest design looks so simple, but the path to getting there can be very long.
Yes, this makes the design process seem very complicated. Well, it is, or at least it can be. With unlimited time, talent, and budget, you should expect great things. Most of us [if any] live in that world.
For this portfolio piece, it is a combination of soft-but-not-so-soft colors on the left fading away to the right. It gives the perception of all the stress, scars, and pain fading away, which is exactly what Jenna does. Simple, to the point, and attractive.