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.