Everybody's method is different find yours
What is this "method?" you must be thinking. The method is essentially their own way to gain awareness, sounds silly doesn't it? Most of the biggest artists on DA never asked to be popular; it just came to them naturally. Yet regardless, subconsciously they knew which deviations to upload would make a big hit.
I am actually asked this question a lot. And in reality, many artists with lots of watchers are asked this question fairly frequently by both old and new deviantART members. There are actually several different ways to get attention on deviantART, but not all those ways are good and most work best when combined together. Let's look at them all individually and then discuss "best practices."
But what is "popular?"
Is being popular just a status symbol for you to make you happy? Is it an arbitrary number assigned to an inanimate object like a pageview? It is a silly symbol by your username that means virtually NOTHING to the majority of the deviantART community (and is meaningless to the rest of the internet)? There are artists out there who are called "popular" but who don't think they are popular. And there are artists out there who many wouldn't classify as "popular" but think they are the most popular thing since unde