Collins started his career as an apprentice to an engineering firm and then gained a scholarship to Plymouth School of Art and later to the Royal College of Art in London. After travelling to Paris with his wife in 1933, Collins exhibited at the Bloomsbury Gallery in 1935 showing his early works. Having met Mark Tobey in Paris, Collins became great friends and attended classes at Dartington Hall and after Tobey’s departure in 1938, taught there. At Dartington House, Collins became greatly influenced by the Far Eastern art and the German Expressionist performance, this interest was reflected in his series of Fools. Collins divided his time between London and Cambridge and sadly due to the air raids in London in 1944, his work held at Lefevre was severely damaged when it was blown off the wall. Collins continued to teach life drawing part-time in London. His work was continued to be appreciated and exhibited until his death in 1989.