It's definitely hard to say sometimes for me, it makes sense when someone gets an incredible amount of favs/likes and watches for being really talented, yet there are some cases that I've witnessed where that doesn't always happen. I will never forget the time I came across a person's "Mario" submission, receiving over a thousand likes and ten times as more views. The image wasn't eye gouging, but it was apparent that the work was done on a very amateur level. Funny enough, it is because of images like that one in particular, that remind me that sometimes it really is a matter of just how well known the individual is throughout the community.
There have also been many cases where I witness someone who is amazingly talented in what they do, yet they hardly receive any recognition. This is sometimes because the person may not be as recognized due to a lack of commitment to the community, or the fact that he/she is only a new arrival. Regardless, a close friend and mentor once taught me that the art community, regardless of it being digital or reality, is a tough, competitive and huge environment full of individuals who each desire the same goal regardless of their practice, we all want our work to be seen by many. I've learned this the hard way, so now, regardless of what skill level I am at with my work, I make an attempt to get as noticed as possible, find a theme, find a niche that works and try to work with it.
I think this is one of the many hardships we all go through as artists, but I found that by trying to simply ignore the amount of favs, likes and comments I receive, while focusing on how much more active I can be on here, helps to turn things around.
It just depends on what kind of art you produce. Like many are saying, anime, fanart, ect..things that are more popular will get mroe views. It also depends on what you put as the search. However, we still like to think that it's directly related, b/c it makes us feel awesome to get comments ^-^
I feel tallent gets you watched and faved, but no one will find you if you don't comment alot, or upload frequently. I find about half of the artist on the front loading page andf the rest from if they comment on my page or are friends of people i watch.
I put "it's a mix of how well a deviant is known/how talented they are" because... well it's true. Some people aren't very well known but have great art, too, so lots of factors go into this. Depends what the masses think of somebody's art. Nowadays everyone can get at least 1k even if they aren't very good so hits really aren't a factor anymore... whoa I'm confusing myself. I could type for hours about this.
Interesting question...I said that it was a mix and blah blah...but really, I've seen some cruddy deviants with waaay more pageviews and +favs than they deserve because they're so well known from neopets or something... .__. ;; That bugs the heck out of me.
I think this a very relevant and great poll topic. I'm of the opinion the number of faves is mostly tied in with how well you're known and what you draw. It's an observation that causes a little bit of bitterness occasionally...I've seen tons of magnificent artists who don't get the recognition they deserve, and a whole lot of artists who do really crap stuff who get like, at least 10 faves per piece. And yes, I agree, that it's the LOTR/Pirates of the Caribbean/Harry Potter Slash/Anime/porn artists who tend to fare better in the hits game, and there are many great artists out there whom I'm afraid "Sell themselves short" just doing fanart. It's really just the characters they're drawing, and it shows: once they do original work, the faves just disappear.
Not bitter, and honestly nothing personal; just observations.