nothing gets my self esteem going better than tumblr dot com
Things you gotta keep in mind so notes don’t get to you:
Popularity largely influences attention towards you and your art and the definition of popularity on Tumblr is largely subjective
You could seriously be the next Picasso but if you don’t have an audience, you’re not really going to get the attention you need
You can influence popularity with the time of day you post, the things you post, connecting with the intended audience, etc. Art on the Internet has a lot of involvement with marketing, so that’s an entire new thing to study.
TLDR; notes are too finicky for them to have any influence or reflection on the quality of your art