Indieview #19 — sushidog, Artist & VTuber

Mitchell Lineham
7 min readOct 15, 2022

Welcome to the nineteenth issue of Indieview! Indieview is an interview series where I speak with a special guest who works on personal or business projects related to games, whether they’re an artist, a composer, a streamer, a writer, or otherwise.

This week I’m joined by sushidog, who you might know for her art or her streaming as a VTuber! She is skilled in digital and traditional art, and I’ve been following her journey for a few years now, and she’s still one of my all-time favourite artists! P.S. she does accept commissions! As with every time I’ve spoken with sushidog, I’ve apologised for how long this issue of Indieview has taken to put together, so I’d like to publicly thank her for her time and patience, as it’s meant a lot to me, and I’ve greatly appreciated it.

Mitch: I always feel like I do a disservice when I give such a brief intro when my guest has achieved so much! You’re actually one of the first V-Tubers I followed, and I’m happy to say I’ve been enjoying your work as both an artist and VTuber for quite a while now. As an artist, what appealed to you about being a VTuber?

sushidog: I actually became a VTuber for research. I was asked to be a part of a new VTuber agency here in Japan. Not as a cast member, but as a Live 2D/Merch artist. So for me to understand VTubing and what kind of models become popular, I decided to become one for 2 months. But I ended up not quitting.

I wasn’t really aiming to become a VTuber, but rather an artist who just makes merchandise and Live 2D for the talents. But when that agency did not go through, I decided to stay as VTuber, simply I enjoyed talking to people while doodling. And one more thing, I came back to Japan living in a new area. I felt lonely. Streaming helped me feel connected to the outside world and I can maintain my English level.

Mitch: Oh wow, I’m happy that it all worked out for you, as I’m sure many others are. I had no idea that your journey was like that, so that’s interesting to know. I understand the feeling of it connecting you to others, and I hope it continues to bring you and your viewers comfort and happiness.

I’ve spoken to some other VTubers before who found their audience grew once they started streaming with an avatar. Do you find your audience has changed much in any way since debuting as Esc-chan?

sushidog: To be honest, I do not know. At the end of the day, If you enjoy what you do, you will grow, I think. Because people want to see streamers emitting a happy aura so if you show your real face, or if you are a png tuber etc, then anybody has a chance to grow.

Mitch: I genuinely adore your art. How are people able to reach out to you for commissions, if and when you’re accepting them?

sushidog: Thank you! I am accepting commissions here https://skeb.jp/@osushichan6 and for more complexed commissions like Live 2Ds contact me on twitter at osushichan6.

Mitch: How has your art style grown and developed in your time as an artist? In particular, I’ve always enjoyed your use of colour! Your work tends to be very colourful and soft, and very warming to look at.

sushidog: My art 3 years ago and the art I do now is very different. I think it is important to calibrate your art style to the “In” style that people like. Updating and putting your originality really make it improve. Buying art books is recommended as well. Nowadays on the internet there are so many tutorials and “how to” YouTube videos, but in my experience buying art books was more informative.

Mitch: For those reading who admire your work, would you mind sharing what equipment you use, please?

sushidog: I use copic markers from the company, “.too” I use them religiously. And for digital art, I use Clip Studio Paint and Procreate.

Mitch: Do you see the world of Esc-chan growing further when it comes to characters? She already has friends such as Daisy!

sushidog: Definitely. Daisy has been one of the popular characters in my stream, despite the fact that she was just a moderator. But her funny comments and her overall energy has made her a backbone in my stream. As my stream gets bigger, I’m hoping to make a intro lore movie to show more of the stories and new characters.

Mitch: Oooh, I’m game for more sushidog and friends lore!

I’ve seen you tweet about anxiety before, which is also something I have. Do you find that being a VTuber makes it easier to stream, in that you can be in character? Speaking as someone who has no experience in VTubing, I always found it to be appealing in that you can role-play, which I always imagined to be easier for many people who now get into streaming.

sushidog: Since 2019, my anxiety has gotten pretty bad and so has everyone’s around the world, I think. My main reason that it got worse was that I came back to Japan and had no friends, new to my job, new place to live and it sure was hard to adapt. But when I stream, it makes me feel like I was accepted and this is my place I can be. I honestly am not in “character” nor role play much, but I can assure you that making your own community is really good for your soul.

Mitch: You have a really distinct art style, and I’ve seen you experiment a few times. Is there any work or artist that has heavily inspired you?

sushidog: Miura Kentaro’s (Berserk) art style has always been my favorite, so I was inspired by him a lot when I was in highschool.

Mitch: Other than yourself (who people should definitely be checking out!!) which VTubers do you enjoy?

sushidog: I am a big fan of Ironmouse. She is one of the very first VTubers that I saw and I immediately fell in love. She is so kind and I look up to her. One more VTuber I adore is Lord Aethelstan. He is talented in music and I am so happy that his talent of music got recognized. I like to see people who are hard working like Ironmouse and Lord. It makes me want to work harder and do more.

Mitch: Hey, sushidog, when is the sushidog merch coming?

sushidog: It is already here!
https://streamlabs.com/sushidog/merch
https://sushidog.booth.pm/

Mitch: Is there anything exciting happening in your future that you’re able to speak about? I’d love to see your work in a visual novel, hint hint.

sushidog: Yes, we do have some interesting things coming in the near future that includes a visual novel where I helped design the characters. And one more thing is that we will be making another live 2D model that moves more, and more expressional, so my re-debut is coming soon!

Mitch: I’m glad I asked, haha, I can’t wait to see what this visual novel (and the other projects) are! What advice would you have for those looking to get into art, or into V-Tubing? Is there anything you wish you knew at the beginning of your journey?

sushidog: Every journey is unique and different so it depends on your situation, but my little advice is do not compare yourself to others. And If you want to compare, compare with your past self. If you see any improvements then you are on the right track!

Mitch: Always good advice, I think. Where can people find you if they want to follow you and support you and your work?

sushidog: I stream on Twitch at twitch.tv/sushidog at 11PM EST! And I am on twitter at twitter.com/osushichan6

Mitch: Is there anything you would like to plug or bring interest to today? Anything goes!

sushidog: Recently I am trying to release my own art book. It will be a traditional art piece that is a tarot card themed. I am hoping to make one by 2023!! This has been my dream to have my art published or made into a book!

Mitch: Ahhh! You have a sale in me, 100%! I’d absolutely love to support this project and I wish you the best in it. Is there a chance you might come to a convention in the UK someday?

sushidog: God, I wish!! I would LOVE to visit my fans who live in the UK! I actually got quite a few people watching me over there!

Mitch: Hear that, UK fans? Let your local conventions know about sushidog!

I hope you’ve enjoyed Indieview #19 with sushidog. I’ll be back with another Indieview in the near future, so thanks for reading, thank you to my wonderful guest, and I hope to see you all again soon!

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Mitchell Lineham

Writing "The Presence of Eve", repped by Tiger Lily Publishing Co. | Hang around for Otome and Games | Mostly active here, Instagram, Letterboxd and Goodreads