The Man Behind Your Favorite Hip-Hop x Pokémon Edits: Sammy Coventry


You may not know the name Sammy Coventry, but if you spend any time on Instagram, you are likely familiar with his work. The 29-year-old artist, better known as Overtime Sammy, has made a name for himself with his immaculate Photoshop edits of current pop culture moments from the realms of hip-hop, sports, video games, anime, and everything in between.

In 2015, while studying visual communication and design at Massey University in New Zealand, Sammy and his brother Alex began creating fun and engaging NBA and NFL-based art and posting it on their joint art account Their early content was heavily inspired by designer Tyson Beck and his Posterizes series.

Sammy continued to hone his Photoshop skills and in 2017 expanded into animation. He began posting basic edits on Instagram, with his second animation being a VFX piece of Paul George turning Super Saiyan after dunking on Chris “Birdman” Andersen. The video caught the attention of his previous manager, Spencer Oshman, who was working at a startup called Overtime, with only 10 or so employees back then. Sammy was offered contract work with Overtime, creating animations and designing their new YouTube series, the Overtime Challenge.

Fast forward almost 7 years later, Overtime is now a giant in the sports media space with nearly 100 million fans and four leagues that it owns and operates: OTE and OT Select in basketball, OT7 in football, and OTX in boxing.

Sammy has played a major role in visually creating and forming the Overtime brand and its identity. Today, his tasks include leading a lot of the graphics packages for the four leagues, designing apparel and creative rollouts, running OvertimeEdits, and producing artwork for brands like adidas, McDonald’s, Dreamville, and Coca-Cola, to name a few.

Coventry does all this while still pumping out his own artwork on his personal Instagram. His most popular series is Pokémon x Cultural Moments, where he edits different Pokémon into album artwork, on-stage performance shots, and more.

We spoke with Sammy to learn more about his story and creative process. Check out the interview below.

Lapras x SZA “SOS” edit by Sammy Coventry

How did you get started doing art?

Art has always been a huge part of my life. Drawing, sketching, and painting. I would spend hours as a kid building LEGOs.

I remember my first days in school, I’d be more locked in drawing with purpose and an accurate approach while my peers were more so scribbling. This was the first moment of realization that creativity came fairly naturally to me.

It was at Nelson College I first got a taste of art in the digital space, learning the Adobe suite. I was hooked from the get go. I would go into computer rooms during interval and lunch time to practice new tools. I owe a lot of credit to my teacher Mrs. Kelly for the way she taught our class.

Achieving endorsement with excellence in all Art Design, Fine Art, and Photography classes, I was awarded the Best Art Design award in my final year of college. My final art board was then critically analyzed by the NZQA (New Zealand Qualifications Authority) was selected in the Top 12 in NZ, touring the Southern Hemisphere in an exhibition.

What are your preferred tools and software?

Adobe Photoshop and illustrator for my static works. Cinema4D and After effects for my 3D & 2D animation works. Aseprite for my pixel art. Have been slowly dipping my feet into Unreal Engine, we will see where that leads… I’m always trying new things. I’ve recently gotten back into painting and selling canvases in local cafes.

How long do you typically work on a piece?

It varies a lot, the 3D works can take anywhere from a full day to a full month. It depends on the size of the scene and how complex the modeling needs to be.

Other arts done through Photoshop I’d say average a creation time of 2 hours, give or take.

What’s been your most viral piece of work?

Man my most viral piece I think was of Rihanna for Met Gala, a piece I did in real-time last year. I whipped it up in 15 minutes.

Gotta mention my Mewtwo & XXXTENTACTION digital design also which still does the rounds, it’s definitely up there as one of my favorite works and series. It’s always the more powerful but simpler works that seem to get the most carry.

Rihanna at the 2023 Met Gala edit by Sammy Coventry

What are some of your personal favorite works?

My more challenging works have become my favorites, first being the Overtime Elite Amazon Prime open. A 3D animation integrating elements & themes from all 8 OTE teams with dynamic animations and fun story telling.

Also the OT7 NFL Network broadcast open. A cool outer space fly-through following a football through its descent down to Earth. Which led into our football league showcasing future NFL talent.

Hip-hop is heavily featured in your work. What is currently on your playlist?

I still have Utopia in rotation, “Topia Twins” and “Skitzo” especially. New Vince Staples album, Dark Times. I’m really excited for this new Don Toliver album, the rollout has been really dope. He topped my Spotify wrap last year.

Finally, what’s your favorite Pokémon and why?

Golem. It was one of the first Pokémon I had as a toy when I was young. My grandma got it for me. He was always hard to get in the games as ya needed to trade. Which made him more special. Close seconds would have to be Articuno and Lucario. Love the designs of both. Maybe it’s also that blue’s a fav color of mine haha.

More Pokémon x Hip-Hop edits by Sammy Coventry below:


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