i think the big issue is interests. a lot of fanart and anime works alike get way more attention than original, good works simply because the viewer wasn't interested. The popular artists are the most generic and relatable ones, and its not often a really 'out there' person is well liked, simply because less people understand them. generic artists and unusual artists can all have the same skill, but the generic artist will have more viewers simply because more people relate to their works.
it makes it very hard for both groups, because generic artists aren't 'original' enough but are still popular, while unusual artists are novel and sometimes pleasing, but rather unpopular.
if you break the rules, are unusual and popular, you become relatable. therefore youre now a generic artist. or, if your popular and original, people may start getting bored and stop paying attention, therefore you're now an unusual artist.
you're always one or the other, or slowly switching between the two. i dont want to say it's impossible to be both, but it basically is. so you have to try to be content with whatever you did get.