I am an art director (for now). I stumbled into that position much like I stumbled into being a designer; somebody asked me to do something on a computer, and I said yes... I never wanted to be a designer or an artist... politician or bartender is more up my alley - or anything else that involves talking to intoxicated people and/or people who need some words to help them see exactly what's in front of them.
The design gig just fell into my lap, and so did everything else afterwards... because really, design is just about making things line up. You just have to know what's pretty and what isn't, and of course, how to fix ugliness.
I do what I do because I don't do shitty work, and I won't let shitty work get passed through on my watch. I'm also just plain obsessive; that .0008 nudge or 3 frames before the cut to the next animation may not make a difference to you, but it means everything to me.
And least of all, whether you work for me or if I work for you, I will tell you when something is ugly (if you're the latter, I might be nice about it). Now, if you work for me, you may be in for a treat. If you're lazy, stupid or a kiss-ass, rest assured I will fire you. I never kissed ass when I did the grunt work, so don't insult my intelligence by doing it to me.