here’s a thing that’s been stated and restated for eons, but i keep seeing the opposite, so here’s my take.
fanart gets more attention because it’s something a large– HUGE!– INTERNATIONAL!– audience has consumed. people don’t know about your original characters because the level at which they’ve been shared is greatly overshadowed by big name creators backed by industry(ies) with an audience whose support allows for shows, films, books, merchandise, various representations and myriad ways of consuming their IP/product. it’s much easier to find information on this stuff. it’s out there. it’s a thing to read, watch, hold. people at large will not recognise your characters after you’ve shared 1, 50, 100 pictures of them. but: some individuals might. some circles/groups might. larger percentages might.
don’t be discouraged because your thing isn’t on the shelves of every single media/entertainment outlet across the world. of course it isn’t. at one point, the published people/teams/etc. that you look up to were also smalltime, toiling away at honing their thing. success can be achieved through hard work, being in the right place at the right time, spending money to do so, reaching the right people, and through decisions that can be perceived as totally arbitrary. not everyone even wants to follow this particular path, but those who do, those are some ways it happens. it doesn’t happen by Not Creating.
the posts that are like “hey why does this pic of naruto have so many notes whereas this character no one can readily learn about has none”… can we kill those off? if you have a creative thing that you can do for fun, then do that, because you like it– and learn how to share in the ways you want, make your thing, make it forever, or scrap it and try something new, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseam. these projects are labours of love, fun, and/or just as often & equally important, necessity.