Here's the deal, I'm not a cool copywriter with tons of words to explain their concerns and feelings in a "witty" way. In fact, it's going to be a lot of copy errors in this post. But hey, I do'nt caer.
I'm the other part of the "Creative Team", the Art Department (From now on "AD"). In some Agencies the AD is just a mere workshop and, if you are not so lucky and your Creative Director is a "primadonna" he (or she) will make you feel like you are just there to make his great ideas look good. In other words, he is not paying you to think. In the other part you can work side by side with a Copy partner and together work the ideas. If that's the case, consider yourself lucky.
But there are different kinds of ADs. Here is a list of some of the most notable ADs in the industry.
1. The self proclaimed AD
This is the Dude who just starts his career about 6 months ago. When he starts in a new agency he learn the term Art Direction, so by default he proclaimed himself AD. He can be an AD for long time, knowing shit about art direction.
2. The Anonymous AD
This dude is the one who fix all the mess the self proclaimed AD does. He considers himself just a graphic artist. In fact, nobody knows how good he is.
3. The Artistic AD
This fucker just make "award winning" ads (at least is that what he thinks). He knows shit about the brand and it's needs. Have no strategy behind the concept and, in some cases when the creative process is stuck he consults just one mentor, good old Archive Magazine. He does not make any dirty job. For example, give him any daily job like an art adaptation or a retail ad, he will come with a lot of excuses, the only thing he is creative at.
4.The Account Executive/AD
When an Account Executive jumps in other department affairs, we have this hybrid AD. Is the one who stands behind the artist giving orders. He is convinced that his knowledge can bring something productive to the final design. Sometimes his comments could be useful but many times, a simple comment like "I'm not pumped enough with the design” can make you think “why I didn’t took the US Postal Service tests?"
5. The Client AD
Here is a dangerous one. No matter how much he knows or how dumb he is, he's always right. If he wants his logo bigger, do it. Anyway, at the end it's his ad not yours.
6. The Copywriter AD (assistant)
When a greedy agency does not want to hire an AD, they take a Copywriter and put him in front of a Mac. The first symptom of this situation is when an AD is sick and didn’t make it to work. The production is still running and in just one second the copywriter makes the fatal mistake of opening Illustrator to make a change in the art. Suddenly the artistic AD (whose part of the job is doing nothing) is around and sees what's happening, he runs (like a girl) to the Creative Director and give him the "news", obviously he also make his "I have a lot of work speech" and the poor Copywriter becomes his assistant AD.
7. The True AD
There are no specific requirements that define an Art Director. Apart of College Education, it's a combination of things. The AD has knowledge in design, art, photography and typography. Also he has to know the cultural movements and new trends. He has to be open minded and always looking for the next big thing. But, the more important thing that a True AD has is the Presentation Skills. 50% of a good creative is his presentation skills. You can be a trendsetter with a vast knowledge in design, you can be the next Warhol, but if you can't share a clear idea, you're just shit.
8. The Senior AD
Any of the above but older.
Maybe there are more ADs, but in my experience I have seen a lot of imbeciles who think art direction is a status position. The truth is ADs are responsible for every visual for all kinds of brands. So, from now on take a look of any ad, and based on the visual, you decide which kind of ADs works the brand. You will be surprised.