Five (Fab) Lessons with Bobby Berk from Adobe MAX

by Adobe Document Cloud Team

posted on 11-14-2019

Bobby Berk dazzles Queer Eye Heroes, viewers and personal clients with his stunning, minimalistic yet inviting home designs. While it may seem like TV magic, last week at Adobe MAX, Bobby shared exactly how he does it – from the brief to finding inspiration and to presenting the final product.

As an ode to Queer Eye’s Fab Five, here are five learnings from Bobby’s session, “How Bobby Berk Gets Work Done with Style,” that apply to anyone who wants to be just a bit more fabulous like Bobby.

Fake it till you make it, but don’t underestimate the doors that are opening for you

“Fake it till you make it. If you don’t know how to do something, say yes and then figure it out.”

“If doors are opening, it’s because you’re good at it. If opportunities are coming to you, it’s because somebody saw something in you that they liked.”

Like many of us, Bobby came from humble beginnings, but he has been a hustler since day one. Bobby’s a big believer in the motto “fake it till you make it.” Don’t turn down an opportunity because you don’t know how to do one aspect of the job. Say yes to the job, and figure it out! Not familiar with a reporting tool? Find a free training. Getting confused by the industry’s jargon? Hit Google for the answer.

And once you make it, don’t fall victim to imposter syndrome. If doors are opening it is because someone saw something in you and you are worthy of the opportunity. Don’t be your own worst critic.

Finding inspiration

“My advice on finding inspiration is never stop looking for it.”

It’s so easy to put your headphones on and block out the world around you, but imagine how much inspiration you may be missing during your daily commute into work or your nightly run in the park.

By always taking in the world around him, Bobby managed to find the perfect shade of pink in a run-down building, which he was then able to scan, send to his team and match to a Pantone color.

Inspiration can find you anywhere – you just have to keep your eyes open!

Design rooted in listening

“I quickly learned not to ask [Queer Eye Heroes] anything about design, but instead, to ask them about things that they love.”

As creatives and those who work in client services know, sometimes people don’t always know how to communicate exactly what they want. Bobby’s workaround is to ask clients about the things that they like and love – perhaps it’s an example of a home on the show they particularly enjoyed or a costume design in their favorite TV show. Letting people speak freely and listening intently enables you to bring their vision to life through your craft.

Handling failure

“You will always have failure in business – it’s how you react to those failures.”

Failure is a part of life, but you can decide how much or how little they define you. Bobby is not ashamed by his #fails, rather he appreciates the lessons they have taught him. Don’t be scared to consider how you can redefine some of your past flops and flip them into learnings.


“When you’re surrounded by a mess all the time it makes you feel worse… Don’t get overwhelmed by things, just spend 5 minutes a day tidying things up.”

Between client demands, writer’s block and fast-approaching deadlines, it’s common for people to experience stress and anxiety. Sometimes these emotions can translate to your immediate environment. If you’re struggling with stress, take a look at your desk or bedroom and see if a little tidying up may help unburden your mind. Bobby suggests taking just five minutes to pick up after yourself. An easy solution for physical clutter is streamlining your paperwork with Adobe Scan, for example.

Interested in hearing more about Bobby Berk’s session at MAX? Check out #PDFlikebobbyberk on Twitter.

Topics: Creativity

Products: Scan, Sign, Acrobat, Document Cloud