Leaf McCrum first became known for his performance and virtual world art at the ACTLab at the University of Texas at Austin using experimental virtual reality computers developed by the Sony Corporation. Since then, his work has developed in the direction of audio-visual installations, documentaries, poetry, a book, graphics, audio shorts, web media including implementing high profile websites, UX designs, and illustrations all the while continuing to express himself through traditional mediums such as acrylic on canvas. Some of his work is archived in ARS Electronica in Linz, Austria and The University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida and the City of Austin.
His film work includes an internship for famed film producer Lynda Obst and running locations on a film set directed by Forest Whittaker for 20th Century Fox in Austin, Texas and the surrounding area as well as for a handful of films which he received credit for on screen and on IMDB. His work is influenced by his time spent under the direction of performance artist, academic, and theorist, Sandy Stone who worked with Consciousness Theorist Donna Haraway and Distinguished Professor Angela Davis who lectures on consciousness. Leaf’s major themes are consciousness raising and expansion. His mission in life is to be of service to the community in order to lesson human suffering.
Leaf has faced many challenges which he chronicled in a recently completed book Resilience, Swimming in the Deep End, available on Amazon and has gone on to create a screenplay from this original work as well. Recently he was selected for a fellowship at the philanthropic Hogg Foundation as a policy analyst and completed his first documentary short The Passion of Istanbul in which oriental rug making is compared to the work of Vincent Van Gogh. He is a member of Sundance Collab and has received various awards and scholarships for his academic work and lived experience. Until moving to San Francisco he lived in Austin, Texas where he was a force as an advocate for change in the mental health field giving presentations about his life to newly minted social workers as well as appearing before elected officials where he advocated for increased resources resulting in the expansion of state funded programs for non-clinical, peer to peer programs adding to the more than three hundred and fifty innovative programs worldwide.
He is a certified peer specialist with lived experience and has addressed audiences with his stories from his life journey on various programs including NPR, and in front of the camera for a professionally created documentary short produced in part by Foundations Community. Leaf has lived in Europe and traveled the world starting with his time in service. Leaf resides in the neighborhood of Lower Pacific Heights in the great city of San Francisco.