At the moment, Lana Chromium is sworn to secrecy. When the body painter was asked about her recent participation as a contestant on the reality TV competition, Skin Wars, she could only say so much.
"I cannot say anything about it," says Chromium, who is contractually obligated not to discuss any of the inner workings of the show until it premieres on the GSN network on Wednesday, June 10. Even then, she'll still be limited in what she can say until the series concludes. "I can say it was a very interesting experience. One of the most powerful in my life."
Chromium moved to San Diego in 2006 from Penza, Russia, but it wasn't until 2009 that she began actively pursuing body painting. She says she'd always been a painter, but quickly became "bored" with traditional painting. She tried body painting when she was still in college, and still had the materials, so she decided to give it another go.
Collaborating with a few other local body painters, she was quickly able to make a career out of it, being hired from everything from large corporate events to smaller gallery openings.
One of the Skin Wars producers saw Chromium's work at the American Body Painting Competition and contacted her about trying out. On the show, which is hosted by Rebecca Romijn, 12 body painters compete against each other in various kinds of challenges. Their art is judged, and their fate on the show eventually decided, by a panel that includes the likes of RuPaul and artist Robin Slonina.
Chromium is definitely one of the contestants GSN is marketing heavily. She appears frequently in the show's trailers and in one, GSN alludes to a "battle of the blondes" rivalry between her and fellow contestant Cheryl Ann Lipstreu. It's enough to give the sense that she will be one of the more prominently featured contestants on the show and, perhaps, advances far. But, again, she won't say.
"On Wednesday, I hope everybody will see it and cheer for me," she says.