I stumbled upon a really nice piece of artwork the other day. I spent a moment to admire it, and then glanced at the artist comments, only to see the notes "please don't favorite this artwork!" and "I HATE that this is the most favorited piece in my gallery!!1" Essentially, the work was a gift for another person of that person's character. The artist said that it was not original work, that they'd tried and failed to make it a challenging piece, so they hated it and only posted it because it was a gift for someone else, and if you wanted to fave something, go look at the other much more personal pieces in the artist's gallery. Apparently, the gift piece was worth nothing to the artist because it was not an original or interesting design, and the only things that were interesting or original were the artist's personal creations, not something containing someone else's character. They went on to complain that the only reason the work was getting so many faves was because it was a lousy dragon, and that people should be paying attention to the other works that took more time and effort (and which did not contain dragons).
So, firstly, I understand wanting other people to love and appreciate your original works - your OCs, your original stories, your original paintings that depict some (perhaps abstract) event or feeling that means a lot to you. It's nice - really nice - to have that validation, to know that the things that have moved you to create that original piece are also things that move others, and that you have depicted it in a way that speaks to others as much as the founding idea has spoken to you.
But that's something that is incredibly challenging to do, especially with the type of audience you have here on DA. For example, lots of people like dragons. I like dragons. I just went through a few minutes ago and binged on dragon pics! A good dragon picture is epic and beautiful, and the gift picture in question here was very nice. It's no wonder a lot of people faved it. In comparison, the person's other pictures they directed people to to fave instead were ... well, from my point of view, decidedly underwhelming. I wouldn't have given them a first glance unless someone pointed me to them, and even after having taken the time to look at them, they did nothing for me. So. Art is extremely subjective, and even if you pour a lot of heart and soul into a picture, a lot of people still won't care. They'll go to that quick, easy, cliche picture you drew instead, because the visual appeal or content is much more recognizable and interesting within an instant of viewing.
But there's nothing wrong with that! People like what they like. If you honestly have a piece that you don't want people to favorite or comment on, then don't post it. The more you tell people NOT to favorite it, the more they will, because some people just like to poke others in the eye. You just invite trolls if you tell people not to do something.
Secondly, take favorites and comments for what they're worth! So what if the piece is not your personal favorite? If you hate it, don't post, otherwise ... there are a lot of other people out there who may love it. And isn't that okay? If there's just one person out there who might find value in something you post, then isn't it worth it to post? A spectacular artist on their worst day may produce something utterly amazing and beautiful to a struggling artist on their best day. And for that artist to say that it is horrible, just a quick thing that they hate ... well, how do you think that makes the struggling artist feel? Especially if nothing they currently produce can measure up to that "horrible" picture? People tend to like and fave things that they view as superior to something in some way, and often it's because the piece contains something that they think is better than they can do. So, in putting down your own work, you're actually putting down a lot of other people, too. Take pride in what you do! Sure, be humble because no one likes arrogance, but accept the praise for your work, because it's worth it to someone, and it should be worth it to you. Otherwise, why did you bother with it in the first place? Every piece has value, even if it's not as much as you would have hoped for.
Thirdly - and this is what irked me the most about this artist - if you make something for someone that is based off of someone else's original character ... don't you dare put that character down. The character is not original or interesting because you didn't create it yourself? Utter foolishness! Someone put time and effort into making that character design. So what if you went off a reference sheet to create the character with appropriate markings/color/personality? That doesn't make it any less original or meaningful. I feel sorry for the person whose gift the dragon was supposed to be, because I know if I heard an artist saying they hated the picture they produced for me because it wasn't interesting, I'd probably cry.
Without a doubt, a gift of someone else's character is special to that person. Not only does it mean a lot, but it's incredible to see your own character come to life through someone else's hands. Rather than viewing it as unoriginal garbage the artist needs to take the opportunity to translate that character into their own style. Take artistic liberties with the design, if you want! Mold it into something that's at least a little inspiring to you, as well - the challenge is to stay true to the intent of the character, and particular identifying features, while making it your own. Otherwise, why would anyone come to you for an image of their character in the first place? I have never wanted a carbon copy of my personal characters. I want the artist's interpretation.
In short, that artist did everything an artist should never do when creating or showing off artwork. Not only that, but they were extremely ungrateful and confrontational to the people who explained why they liked the artwork and thought it was worthy of being liked, and all but told them to go like something else instead. I could not believe it.
You can't control what people like. The only control you have is to not post something.
Be grateful when people like your work! Someone thought it was worthwhile, and obviously you did too, if you created it. Take time to appreciate yourself and the things you do - take pride in your work!
Take care that you don't insult other people's characters by putting down your own work that features them. Constructive criticism is okay, but groundless hatred is not. If you really don't like the character, guess what? You don't have to do anything with it.
If you can't say anything good, don't say anything at all ... and if you can't say anything good about what you post, don't post it.