Hey there 🙂 My name is Simran Sarin. I’m a senior at Iowa City West High School and the Print Editor-in Chief of the West Side Story

When I first joined the WSS staff, I was an Assistant Design Editor. Last year I was Design Editor, and I won Designer of the Year in Iowa. I also won several other awards from the Iowa High School Press Association (IHSPA) and Quill and Scroll International Honor Society. In fact, I won third place for this blog!

Over the last three years, my passion for journalism and designing has grown substantially. I had initially taken Introduction to Journalism to fill a space in my schedule. When I first joined staff, I had thought, ‘maybe I’ll become Design Editor next year, but there’s no way I’ll EVER want to be Editor-in-Chief.’ Even last year I had no desire to lead the entire staff. However, as the year progressed, I began to love journalism more than I could’ve ever imagined. I grew passionate about pushing staff members to go out of their comfort zones and find an impactful story that needed to be told. And when we did publish controversial content, when we delivered papers that had stories people felt uncomfortable about, I felt an immense amount of pride. Newspaper went from something I needed to fill a space in my schedule into something I looked forward to everyday, something that motivated me and kept me going.

I’ve loved art ever since I was little. I would always read books on Monet, Van Gogh and Pierre-Auguste, to name a few. Going to art museums was a rare treat that I loved and my favorite class was art. However, as I got older, I began to draw less and less. This year, I decided to make more time to cultivate my creativity and do what I love. So, I created this blog.

This is a place to share the works I create, but it’s also a place to share my thoughts. It’s something that movtivates me and forces me to stop, slow down, and think a bit more creatively. This blog has transformed me from a person who mindlessly walks from point A to point B into someone who is constantly dissecting the world around her, finding art everywhere she looks.

So. Why is the name of my blog “Simply Gestalt”? Actually, what does “gestalt” mean? Gestalt is a psychology term that refers to a group of theories developed in the 1920s. The word has no true English translation, but the closest phrase it translates to is “unified whole.” Essentially, gestalt laws are a way to explain how humans look at parts of objects and create a whole object out of these parts. The laws are incorporated into nearly everything you see and are as follows: closure, proximity, continuation, similarity and figure & ground. All of these laws are found in my logo:

So, why is this the name of my blog? Well, when I created this blog, I wasn’t entirely sure of what content it would consist of. Even now, I don’t know. As of now, it consists of color palettes, graphic design and artwork. However, maybe it will expand into photography or sculpture making. Despite my uncertainty of what’s to come, the one thing I am sure about is that all the content here will be . . . simply gestalt.

Please do not use my work without permission and feel free to contact me for commissions at simran.ranisarin@gmail.com

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