He was born in Bulgaria and graduated stage decoration, animation, and make-up at Plovdiv's School of Scenic Arts.He obtained a master's degree in graphic design from the National Academy of Arts in Sofia. He first made a name as a poster and graphic designer, before moving to Montreal in 1999. There he quickly gained a reputation as an animation filmmaker with for the National Film Board of Canada, with films such as Vertical, The Man Who Waited, Tower Bawher, Tzartitza, Sou and Drux Flux, winner of the Canadian Film Institute Award for Best Canadian Animation at the Ottawa International Animation Festival. In 2010, he completed a short animated documentary about Arthur Lipsett, entitled Lipsett Diaries. In March 2011, Lipsett Diaries received the Genie Award for Best Animated Short at the 31st Genie Awards.
He created live show multimedia and promo animations for the British band Public Symphony and David Gilmour’s “In an Island” album and live tour, and the illustrations for Chris Robinson' book "Ballad of a Thin Man: In Search of Ryan Larkin" (2008).
The third film from his 20th-century trilogy - Gloria Victoria was named Most Well Liked Animated Short of 2013. In a survey of fourteen respected festival programmers and critics who were each asked to name the best animated shorts of 2013, the film that came out on top was Gloria Victoria. Produced at the National Film Board of Canada, the film was selected by 11 out of 15 people surveyed. The film received the FIPRESCI critics prize at the 2013 Annecy International Animated Film Festival in June 2013. Gloria Victoria was screened as part of the Short Cuts Canada program at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.The film also got a nomination at 2014 Hollywood's Annie Awards. Gloria Victoria was between the 10 selected Animated Shorts for the Oscars nominations in 2013.
Ushev’s films have won more than 150 awards and mentions and have screened in many retrospectives. Academy Award®-nominated short Blind Vaysha (2016). The Physics of Sorrow (2019), adapted from the book by Georgi Gospodinov, a compelling and personal portrait of rootlessness and identity, is Ushev’s latest project, and his most ambitious work to date.