About Me

My name is Karen Batten and my ancestors came to this continent from England, Ireland, Germany and Prussia between 1791 and 1910 without the permission of the Eora (Sydney) People. I live and work on the lands of the Jagera,  Yugura, Yugarpul and Turrabul People.

Since 2002, I have worked as a freelance community worker, graphic and web designer using a participant driven approach. I have worked as a graphic designer since 1996.

I’m currently very interested in equity in small groups & backyard resilience building. I live and co-organise a communal share home. I have been learning about transformative justice.

In my practice, the process used is equally as important as the outcome. I am committed to personal and professional skill development through courses, listening and seeking information. My practice thrives on collaborations with friends and community. I’m a proud Uncle to twenty four young humans and four hounds.


Christine Peacock eyes showing only fan infront of most of her face

‘Seasonal, sustainable Colourise media art events have breathed the Briz cultural, social, political landscape since 1988. The venerable, related and relevant Indigenous gathering spirit is organic and fluid without fear of flying or failing. Karen Batten has designed, collaborated, participated with Colourise Festival since 2005.’ Christine Peacock 

Jabiru Community College

Working with Karen has been so easy and straightforward. When my ideas were partly formed, or impossible to explain, I found Karen to be patient and generous as we grappled together to get the right design for our school’s resources. The posters were full of life and movement, closely reflecting our young people and the community we work in. Karen’s beautiful designs were more than I could have hoped for. Karen is our number one graphic designer. Jake MacDarragh

‘I had the good fortune of first working with Karen in 2009, in Blackall and Longreach as part of the Creative Pathways in the Central West program by SpeakOut. Karen’s role was to design and facilitate graphic design and marketing workshops with young people for the Shockwave Festival while I was managing the program and producing the festival. I have continued to work with Karen on various projects since then, valuing highly her considered approaches to collaborative, inclusive design, production and general project organising. More recently in 2015 we have collaborated to produce Rhizome: The September Edition, a year round program of skill sharing, networking and training for Brisbane’s creative sector, presented by Brisbane City Council. Without hesitation I would (and have) recommended Karen to anyone interested in more collaborative, participatory and community-based approaches to communications, marketing and design.’
Steph Vajda

‘Working with Karen Batten as a designer and collaborative artists is a really important professional exchange for me. Karen uses a broad range of consultative and collaborative methods to create work, this is the perfect kind of engagement I needs from artists and designers who I work with. Whenever I have a problem, a big idea, a very short time frame and limited resources to make something amazing happen it is always Karen that I call. Each time Karen has been responsive, respectful and honest in what we can achieve with what time and resources we have available to us. However Karen has never asked us to scale back an idea, rather been very supportive to find a way to handle this idea and meet the need. Karen is my first choice in designer.’
Lenine Bourke

Julien Boston small smile to the camera

‘I employed Karen (around 2000) for over 2 years. In this time I found her to be a designer of innovative and good quality work, always on time, and liaised well with my clients – and from such a nice fun person to work with! It is my loss that she returned to Australia (I was very sorry to see her go), and I have no reserve in recommending her to any of her potential clients.’
Julien Boston @ Boston Graphics (U.K.)


Karen Batten uses a consultative and collaborative process in developing creative products. This process places clients and service users at the centre of the creative process through dialogue, workshops and training which is applicable to a range of clients including individuals, organisations and businesses. Karen creates opportunities for the service users, members and staff to be involved in the creative process, where-ever the interest lies. This process of greater consultation and collaboration has proven to not only yield greater results, but also creates a climate of creativity within organisations, ensures client’s ideas are utilised and fosters a sense of creative ownership over the final product. Karen weaves evaluation and reflection into every project to continuously improve the process.

All artwork created is owned by the client. Karen can provide training for workers to edit the designs created to save resources for future projects.

Design & Print

  • Branding
  • Brochures
  • Posters
  • Flyers
  • Booklets
  • Signage
  • Business cards and more…

Digital Media

  • Websites
  • Animations
  • Event Promotion on Social Media


  • Illustration
  • Info graphics
  • Photography
  • Exhibition Curating
  • Participatory Art

Workshops & Coaching

  • Participatory art projects
  • Coaching and / or workshops in marketing, print and digital media (so that staff or service users can change designs in-house)
  • Workshops in ‘Community Responses’ to harm