thanks. i appreciate it every day to have someone with ritch's ability to help me learn the way to do it well. the first things i learned was needle making, which is great so you can make the needles the way you want and then basic drawing exercises. i even had a pencil that i used to hook one of my machines to so i could get used to the weight in my hand. every little thing helps. some of the steps that i have to take are coming sub-conscientiously, but some of the others i have to keep reminding myself of as i do the tattoo. the big one is to breath. it may sound funny (blond even ), but sometimes i forget to breath, especially on a long line. all the reading of books or searching on the internet cant replace experience. so, long story short, i think of myself as lucky too. and thanks for the comment.